City defers amending budget

With Mayor Philip Craighead and city attorney Andy Wright absent, the Lebanon City Council met Tuesday where it voted to defer an ordinance that would amend the 2013-14 fiscal year budget.
Oct 16, 2013
(Caitlin Rickard • Lebanon Democrat) Mayor Pro Tem Joe Hayes leads the city council meeting Tuesday in Mayor Philip Craighead’s absence.

With Mayor Philip Craighead and city attorney Andy Wright absent, the Lebanon City Council met Tuesday where it voted to defer an ordinance that would amend the 2013-14 fiscal year budget.

The amendment to the budget would include adding a one-step employee compensation increase.

The ordinance was previously passed on first reading at council’s Sept. 30 meeting, but Councilor Kathy Warmath said she thought it would be best to defer passing it on final reading until Mayor Craighead and Wright were present.

The issue of employee raises came about, according to the ordinance, “due to unforeseen and unexpected circumstances, there was a lack of clarity in the budget approval process and the 2013-14 fiscal year budget did not include a one-step employee compensation increase,” and the ordinance goes on to state that the council intended on adding this increase originally.

The budget would be amended by the amount needed for these one-step raises and use funds from the city’s reserve fund.

In order for employees to qualify for the one-step increase, they must have been hired on or before July 1, 2012. They must also not have received a promotion or pay increase already funded in the 2013-14 budget to be qualified for the one-step increase. All $300 bonuses would be rescinded for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

In light of the deferral, Councilor Lanny Jewell also said he’d like to see a work session on the issue before the next council meeting.

The topic will come up again at the council’s next meeting Nov. 5.

The council also approved a resolution that would allow city personnel to perform creek and drainage cleanup on private property.

Randy Laine, Engineering Director for Capital Projects said the need for the city to work on private property was for the purpose of improving the public good.

Private property locations listed to receive creek and drain cleanup are: the drain along Tennessee Boulveard which flows to the sinkhole at McFarland, the drain from Hartsville Pike running through the Hallcroft area, a short section of the south fork of Cedar Creek at the Callis Road crossing off of Highway 109, Spencer Creek in the South Fork/Richmond Hills area, Tarver Branch beginning at Sinking Creek and heading south and a drain from the railroad tracks at Market Basket heading south.

Laine said he thought improving the drainage in these areas would help the city’s drainage and, in turn, benefit the community.

Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Baines said the work being done would be “basic, routine maintenance work.”

Laine said he anticipated work to start around the first of November.

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