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Council starts work on 2013 budget

All the work is done on the new children’s playground at the Shirley City Park and the City Council decided to hold a grand opening Saturday. The city received grants for the equipment and Mayor Johnny Sowell said the picnic tables and grills were put in place last weekend.

Also at its Oct. 8 meeting, the council began 2013 budget talks. Councilwoman Brandy Kimmons said the council had been negligent in keeping up on control of the budget.

She stated that she had reviewed the past budgets, and the city had gone from a $107,499.78 carryover in 2011, to a $63,666.07 carryover in 2012 and a projected carryover of $30,835.27 on the 2013 projection.

According to the minutes from the meeting, Kimmons said that at the current rate of spending, the city would be in the red by the middle of 2013. It was acknowledged by the council that a lot of projects had been completed, including the Centennial Celebration, but agreed that spending needed to be cut.

Also at the meeting:

• The council tabled Resolution 2012-03 — the Cable Television Franchise Agreement — until November after Sowell said he had not yet obtained all the information he needed.

• Sowell told councilors that the closing on the Allen building purchase took place Oct. 1. He said the mortgage with First Service Bank was for a total of $10,758, for five years at 4.5 percent interest, with a monthly payment of $201.05. He stated that he had been approached by Ed Prout who made an offer to tear down the building, have everything hauled off, and pay the city $2,000 for the lumber. The council unanimously accepted the offer.

• County attorney Chris Carnahan reported that he had reviewed the city’s Nuisance Ordinance, and had compiled a list of procedures governing the enforcement power of the city to remove nuisances. He reviewed his list with the council, and stressed the importance of getting pictures of situations deemed a nuisance.

Carnahan also stated that, concerning the banning of pit bulls or other dogs within the city, the city could pass a “Vicious Dog” Ordinance, giving a definition of what the city defined as a vicious dog. He stated he would put together a “model” vicious dog ordinance.

The council’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Nov. 12, 2012, at the Shirley Community Center.

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