Tyronza Council passes amended budget

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The big order of business for the Tyronza Council Tuesday night was passing the amended 2017 budget. One issue that generated a lot of discussion was a transfer between the Water Fund and the General Fund made earlier in the year.

The General Fund borrowed $11,000 from the Water Fund and paid $4,000 back. Mayor Charles Glover said he had checked with the Municipal League and the auditor and that it was legal to transfer money to the General Fund from the Water Fund if there is a surplus and enough money exists in the water fund to cover the current year and the next year. Glover recommended keeping the $7,000 in the General Fund, as reflected in the amended budget.

"As bad as the General Fund needs that money, and as well off as the Water Fund is, I don't see transferring that money back (to the Water Fund)," Glover said.

Many council members expressed discomfort with relying on Water Fund surplus to keep the General Fund going and didn't want to make a habit of it, but according to Mayor Glover, the General Fund might have difficulty next year if that money was tranferred back. "The General Fund needs money, and we have very limited ways to raise money for it," Glover said. "If we transfer the $7,000 back (to the Water Fund), we will have to borrow again to make payroll."

The ordinance to approve the amended 2017 budget, which keeps the borrowed $7,000 in the General Fund, resulted in a vote of 3-3--with Shirley Hindman, Barbara Ross, and Jessica Ross voting against and Michael Hood, Tyler Permenter, and Kevin Skipper voting for. Mayor Glover cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the ordinance.

The council also approved an ordinance setting license fees for business permits: $150 for banks, $100 for funeral homes, $50 for other types of businesses that are open year-round, and $25 for door-to-door sales and mobile vendors. Only one $50 fee is required for multiple businesses at the same location, unless there are separate owners running the businesses, in which case they must all pay the fee.

Glover gave the council the proposed 2018 budget to look over. They meet again Dec. 14 to discuss in more detail. Glover also said he was going to send a letter out with the water bills asking people to consider donating $2 to the senior center instead of $1 to help the center break even.

The city will be participating in a local update of Census addresses for the 2020 Census. Glover said they will be working with the Census to make sure the count and addresses are as accurate as possible.

Mayor Glover has also contacted an engineer about renovating the water towers.

Regarding the ambulance, Mayor Glover told the council that the city has EMTs, but none of them are available if there is a call for the ambulance because they all work other jobs. "This past year, it has been almost next to impossible to get someone to drive and be an EMT," he said. He said he doesn't think the city can continue to operate the ambulance next year. The council asked to hear input from the fire department before making a decision.

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