No tax hike in proposed city budget

By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times

Taxes will not increase under the proposed city budget for Fiscal Year 2015.
The Eupora Board of Aldermen had budget work sessions during recessed meetings on Aug. 11, 13 and 27.

The city’s tax millage rate will not increase under the proposed budget, according to discussion on Aug. 27. Because of reassessment, Mayor Dan Burchfield said he expects the city will have an increase of about 8 percent in real property.
At that meeting, the board set a budget hearing for 5 p.m. Sept. 11. The budget must be adopted no later than Sept. 15 and the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Additionally on Aug. 27, the board awarded a bid for the lagoon dike stabilization project, which will be funded by a Community Development Block Grant.
Upon the recommendation of City Engineer Stanley Spradling, the board awarded the bid to Anderson Contracting of Yazoo City. The contractor’s total base bid was $237,208, which was the lowest of eight that were opened Aug. 14.
At the mayor’s request, Spradling also gave a recommendation on a proposed water tank maintenance agreement presented by a representative of Tank Pro on Aug. 4. Tank Pro’s cost analysis for its maintenance proposal for seven water storage tanks, based on 1,900 customers, gave a total cost of $1.25 million for a 13-year maintenance contract.
Spradling noted that maintenance agreements are “front-end collections,” adding, “If they go belly up, there is no recourse.”
He presented an option of having Calvert-Spradling Engineers set up a spreadsheet that that the city would use for scheduling water system maintenance and creating a yearly budget.
Spradling recommended that the firm bill the city by the hour to prepare the plan, with an estimated top cost of $6,200.
Burchfield recommended that aldermen accept the engineering firm’s plan, which he said would save the city about 25 percent compared to Tank Pro’s.
The board did authorize Calvert-Spradling to prepare its maintenance plan at the top estimate of $6,200, with the money to come out of Water Department reserves.
Aldermen Jerry Gary (at-large), Junior Shaw (Ward 1) and Howard Rumore (Ward 2) were present at the Aug. 27 meeting. The board was to meet again Tuesday night.