Council adopts temporary budget for 2015

Published 2:10 pm Thursday, December 18, 2014

Will have funds to operate on Jan. 2

There were three special called meetings of Ironton City Council on Wednesday, but it only took one to adopt a temporary operating budget for 2015.

“We have until March 31 to implement a permanent budget for fiscal year 2015,” Rich Blankenship, Ironton mayor, said. “I have already submitted a conceptual budget to members of council with the plan of adopting the budget well before the deadline.”

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For now, the mayor, the members of council and finance director Kristen Martin are focused on wrapping up 2014.

Ordinance 14-50 amending the annual operating budget for the city for fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2014, was favorably recommended in a finance committee meeting prior to the council meeting on Wednesday.

“The fire truck purchase that was authorized back in June is complete and due for delivery,” Martin told the finance committee. “What we need to do is just an in-and-out from (the fire equipment replacement fund). I need to receive the money from a local financial institution and pay it to the company you authorized the contract to. Next budget year we will deal with repayment and you will see that come out of the same fund.”

Council approved in June a bid of $388,464 from Dublin-based Sutphen Corporation for a new fire truck to replace the city’s current 1994 model.

“We will transfer money into (the fire equipment replacement fund) every year to make sure we cover the payment,” Martin said. “But, for this year, I need to receive the money into the budget and then pay upon delivery of the truck.”

Ordinance 14-50 is the city’s only amendment to the final budget. Rules were suspended and the ordinance was adopted unanimously during the first special meeting of council.

Ordinance 14-51 adopting the temporary operating budget for fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2015, was also favorably recommended by the city’s finance committee. Rules were suspended and the ordinance was adopted unanimously during Wednesday’s first special meeting of council.

“We bought new police cars, spent for development on Ninth Street, paid for computer upgrades, refinanced some bonds and got money for the demolition of Memorial Hall,” Martin said. “That revenue was received the end of 2013, put in budget for 2014 and will be spent in for 2015. These are all positive expenses.”

A temporary operating budget, Martin said, is about 40 percent of the permanent budget.

“By adopting a temporary budget, everyone can operate on Jan. 1, 2015,” she said. “You will see 100 percent of the insurance because it is paid in March so we don’t have to wait for a permanent (budget) to pay that out. But a temporary budget is just a fraction of the permanent budget until it is set in place.”

Also during the first special meeting, rules were suspended and ordinance 14-33 authorizing and executing a collective bargaining agreement between the city and the International Association of Firefighters was adopted.

According to the ordinance, all contract language remains the same as the previous year except for three items: a 4 percent wage increase; a $625 signing bonus paid by Dec. 15; and a 2.5 percent pension pick up, which eliminates the city’s portion.

Ordinance 14-46 authorizing and executing a quitclaim deed or other appropriate document on behalf of the city relinquishing a certain reversionary clause set forth in Lawrence County official record volume 650, page 490 was not adopted after council member Dave Frazer voted “no” to suspend the rules. A second special meeting took place for the sole purpose of adopting the ordinance, during which it was given a third reading and adopted unanimously with Frazer and council member Beth Rist absent.

Ordinance 14-46 removes a reversionary clause from the recorded deed the city of Ironton conveyed for the Ro-Na building, which gives the Friends of Ironton sole ownership.

Rules were suspended and ordinance 14-47 authorizing the city to enter into a contract with the Ironton Metropolitan Housing Authority for police protection and ordinance 14-48 authorizing the mayor to award bids for concrete in 2015 were adopted unanimously during the first special meeting.

Resolution 14-49 adopting the alternative tax budget of the city beginning Jan. 1, 2015, and submitting the tax budget to the county auditor and declaring an emergency was adopted.