Rector City Council Talks Budget

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Rector City Council approved a cost of living raise for city employees and discussed the budget for 2016 at Monday's monthly meeting.

The meeting began with the council approving its newest animal ordinance. The new ordinance, known as ordinance 557, allows residents who have two contiguous acres to own a limit of 10 chickens and two sheep or two goats within city limits. The owner would not be allowed to have the animals within 75 feet of their neighbors and would have to meet the city superintendent's standards of housing the animals. A permit would also be required at a $10 fee. The council approved the amendment after leaving the issue open for a month, so area residents could voice their opinion.

A three percent increase for city employees was approved to be added to the 2016 budget and changing James Walker's position from Dispatcher to Dispatcher/IT with a 25 cent raise.

The council pored over the city's extensive budget, discussing where cuts could be made and increases might be needed. The possibilities of taking bids on future mowing and adding to the street department's budget to allow for buying needed equipment were at the top of those discussions. Administrative assistant Kim Romine and mayor Teresa Roofe worked extensively preparing the budget and Romine was tasked to investigate and change different aspects of the budget for the next fiscal year. The council will go over the budget again at the January meeting before approval. The budget must be complete on Jan. 31.

After discussion the city departments gave their reports.

The water department reported $2,898.72 in net income, six new services connected, nine disconnected, six repairs to the water or sewer system and $229.04 in vehicle cost.

Code enforcement reported five picked up dogs and one building permit.

The street department reported nine signs replaced or repaired, three street repairs and 84 dogs picked up for the year in total, compared to 57 dogs last year.

The community center reported seven events, four paying and three non-paying resulting in $335 collected for rent. Donations in November were $25 and the annual craft show was a great success bringing in $1,140.12. "Be sure to thank your community center volunteers for such a great event," Roofe said.

The fire department reported four calls in the city and five in the county. Fire chief Huston Bowden also informed the council the Insurance Service Office (ISO) will be visiting the Rector Fire Department Friday to evaluate the ISO rating; the department currently has a rating of four -- the lower the number the better the rating.

The police department reported one accident, 29 court docket items, two car letters sent out and $2,355 in court collections.

The council also decided to consider two residences with property issues possibly going onto the condemned list in the future -- 302 McNabb Street and 513 South Ballard.

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