FAIR Committee talks about reducing expenses

The FAIR Committee met on Wednesday, February 15, in the City Hall Conference Room.

First on the committee’s agenda was immediate plans for increasing revenue. Members heard an update on the city’s efforts towards collecting past due liens for demolitions, funds for summary abatements, past due business licenses, the debt set-off program, and other sources of revenue.

Members were informed that a report on sprinkler and hydrant charges was to be provided by mid-February.

Information was provided regarding the auction of suplus property that was being conducted by the city at the time of the meeting. That auction ended on February 17.

There was discussion regarding a proposed ordinace relative to curbside waste pickup which would require the deletion of a section of code.

Immediate plans to reduce expenses involved updates regarding efforts to reduce fuel consumption. According to notes, the city currently pays $1.63 per gallon for fuel. There was also discussion of energy savings to be had with street lights. Interim City Manager Jerry Moss reported that rates of street lights are set by the Utilities Commission. City Engineer Frank Frazier told members that in residential areas, the most economical street lights are used, whereas on state streets, the most expensive are used. Residential outages are most likely to be reported quickly; however, those on major thoroughfares are not.

The utility rate for the street light is assessed whether the light functions or not.

FAIR Committee Chair Lynn Harper commented that this is another cost of maintaining state roads and asked for a figure on it.

The discussion then moved to budget planning. Moss informed members that all budgets were to be in by February 27. He stated that he had taken preliminary looks at the city’s financial position. He stated that it has not gotten worse and has improved somewhat.

Harper said that she had found out that the FAIR Committee works with the Recreation Department. She then designated times for a FAIR Committee tour of the Recreation Department facilities.

Moss announced that he had an appraisal for the old library building. Although he appeared to have the appraisal in hand, he stated that he preferred that the council review it before it becomes public.

Dates for the March Intergovernmental Committee meeting had not yet been set.

Harper told the committee that the mayor had asked FAIR to prioritize 26 items from the city council meeting on Monday night. She told members that a mission statement was needed as well.