HAZARD—The City of Hazard Commission met Monday night for its regular called monthly meeting to approve the first reading of next year’s budget and to discuss possible improvement projects for the future.
Commissioners voted to approve the first reading of an ordinance to accept the City of Hazard budget for the next fiscal year, July 1, 2014 - June 30,2015.
The total budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year is estimated at $21,821,457.75, nearly $2 million less than last year’s. The general fund is estimated to be just over $5.6 million. The city’s water system improvement fund is set at $2.6 million. The gas fund is estimated at $2.2 million, while just under $3.7 million has been allocated for the water fund.
Other funds and allocations for the coming year include $590,000 got the pension fund, $1.3 million for the sewer fund, $495,000 for the Pavilion, and $190,000 for fire equipment.
The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the ordinance, and plan to hold a special called meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 21, for the second and final reading.
In other business, commissioners also voted to approve a resolution pertaining to the infrastructure revolving fund and a project that would aim to improve the city’s sewer lines.
“I guess everyone is aware, especially in particular parts of our city, we have an odor problem, and this total project plans to remove that odor problem and do some other significant work on our primary sanitary trunk line,” explained Hazard City Engineer Hank Spalding.
Spalding said he thinks the city has a very good chance to get a $1.2 million grant for the project that’s total anticipated cost would be around $2 million, leaving only $800,000 to be picked up by additional loans. He explained that the loan payments could be worked out so they would not need to begin paying them until 2017, after the city water system improvements project was paid for.
Commissioner Ricky Steele opened the floor for the vote on the resolution.
“Will this fix the smell at the bottom of Food City hill?” Steele asked Spalding.
“That’s certainly what we hope,” Spalding said.
“I’m all for it then,” Steele responded, voting to approve the resolution.
The commissioners unanimously approved the resolution.
Commissioners also unanimously voted to approve the opening bids for a new 2015 rescue vehicle as well as for new services for scrap metal removal and recycling.
Fire Chief Sam Stacy said two bids came in for a new rescue vehicle. Crossroads Ford offered the city an extended cab pickup, which is what the city would need, for just over $50,000. Stacy said the second bid was not worth it since it did not include an extended cab and the price was still more than Crossroads.
City Manager Grady Varney said only one bid came in for the scrap metal removal services, but that he would recommend taking it.
“We’re planning on cleaning up the maintenance garage,” he said. “We have a lot of stuff up there.”
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.