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City passes budget on final vote

Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:36 PM

Lebanon City Council beat the state deadline to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Council passed the city’s 2014-2015 budget on its third and final reading Tuesday.

State law requires cities to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year by July 1, which is also the state date of the fiscal year. This year is the first time in “several years” that the city has met that deadline, according to Robert Springer, the city’s commissioner of finance and revenues. 

The final version bore a marked difference to the original version, though. Council voted to amend the budget, excluding employee pay increases or adjustments and positions created in the budget.

Councilor Rob Cesternino, who proposed the amendment, said he did so just to allow planned capital projects to move forward while talks continue about the personnel decisions.

He emphasized that he was not opposed to proposed personnel-related items and that council could amend the budget again after further discussions.

“I’m not opposed to these items; I actually support them,” said Cesternino.

Councilor Kathy Warmath reiterated that the budget was still “fluid.”

“That budget, even though we pass it, is not set in stone,” she said.

In other business, council approved the following items:

• A certificate of compliance for a retail package store, Cheers Wine & Liquor.

• A line item transfer for the Public Safety Department for overtime, operating supplies, gas and motor vehicle parts.

• A line item transfer or the garage for travel related to CNG fleet training.

• A line item transfer for the Sewer Collection Department for uniforms to buy rain gear.

• Changing city code to accommodate zero lot lines.

• A line item transfer for the Public Safety Department for building roof replacement.

• A line item transfer for the police department for training.

• Changing the speed limit from 40 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour in the portion of Coles Ferry Pike from Hartmann Drive to near the Lebanon Country Club.

• Removing the flashing beacon signal at the intersection of College Street and East Gay Street.

• Approving bids for total computer systems, backup devices, servers and stratus software for the police department.

• Approving bids for lab equipment for the water plant.

• Approving the application for and acceptance of funds obtained through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.

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