Thursday, September 1, 2005
sort through budget requests
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs mayor and Board of Aldermen trimmed department budgets during several weeks of deliberations in August.
Nothing has been presented on the revenue side as yet, nor have salary increases been addressed.
Budget figures so far reflect capital and operating budget requests.
The requests from electricity and gas departments have not been acted upon by the Board of Aldermen, pending the settling of new rate increases by those departments. Some items in and some that may be out, according to department, follow.
The city may get some help with an irrigation system at the football field from the Holly Springs School District.
A water park estimated to cost uap to $400,000 was left in the budget at the request of mayor Andre DeBerry, who said grant monies may be found to help pay for it.
DeBerry called the chain-link fence at the football field an embarrassment.
He recommended the city buy goal line fences made of vinyl. The mayor said he would work diligently to raise money to pay off the fence, estimated to cost in the $32,000 range, by renting advertising space around the end-zones and a fund raising campaign. The mayor said he has been thinking of organizing a sports authority to help raise money for Sam Coopwood Park improvements.
Recreation wants better basketball goals at the Multi-Purpose Building and restrooms at the walking trail.
As it now sits, recreations capital budget request is at $120,000, less the water park.
The street department asked for a new packer truck for limbs and leaves and a used dump truck. The city garage wants a new lift rack and A/C recovery system. A generator for the pest control sprayer truck is on the wish list.
Firemen want raises to put them near to parity with other city employees, according to chief Ken Holbrook. He also asked for some more turnout suits. Capital expenditures for equipment are covered with grants, for now.
The department has not asked for any large capital outlays for equipment. The mayor said he does not expect a police complex, that was in the planning stages several years ago, to be forthcoming for one or two years. The police department rents space at the MI College campus.
The citys budget for the library sits at $10,000.
The equipment budget which includes requests for computers, projectors and security equipment is around $56,000.
It also asked for three new staffing positions.
At the end of budget talks Wednesday, August 17, the board of aldermen voted 4-1 to authorize DeBerry to purchase fencing material for the football field end zones at Sam Coopwood Park. Alderman Nancy Hutchens voted against the vinyl fence after arguing that it costs twice what a chain-link fence would cost and that white vinyl fencing material is not consistent with what athletic departments provide in other places.
DeBerry argued that the new fencing material would improve the image of Holly Springs in the eyes of park visitors. He said vinyl would be safer than chain-link fencing, would not rust, and grass clipping or control would be easier to manage.
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