The Maysville City Council continues to work on its 2009 budget, with the goal of approving it at its Dec. 1 meeting. The council will meet at 7 p.m. at the Maysville Public Library.
While the council has agreed on the tax rates, there are two main issues yet to be resolved.
One is water and sewerage rates; the other is the appropriation for the Maysville Fire Department.
The city council discussed both at a work session last Thursday night; another work session was planned for Tuesday night. Details of that were not available by press time.
The tentative millage rates are .81 for Banks County residents and 1.764 for Jackson County residents. The Banks County rate is the same as last year, while the Jackson County rate is down slightly.
Facing a projected water and sewerage revenue shortfall of $184,000, the council had discussed raising water rates as much as 40 percent. But last Thursday, councilman Stephan Lewis suggested that figures presented by Chip McGaughey from Engineering Management Inc. at a prior work session "just didn't add up for me."
Lewis and Councilwoman Lynn Villyard have been working on the figures and hoped to have a recommendation by Tuesday night's work session. McGaughey was expected to attend that session as well.
"We've just got to figure out what to do with water and sewer and push forward," urged Mayor Jerry Baker.
"We'll work on it," promised Villyard.
Lewis also balked at the budget request from Fire Chief James Lyle for $23,000. That figure is an increase of almost $3,000 over the fire department's 2008 budget, which had been amended mid-year to add $2,000 to cover increased fuel costs.
"Who came up with that number?" Lewis asked. "That's a pretty big increase. I don't see where that's coming from."
According to City Clerk Barbara Thomas, Lyle did not submit a line item budget to indicate where the extra money would go.
"Can't we just ask for something in writing?" asked Villyard.
"Yes we can," the mayor responded.
"If it's totally necessary, go with it," Lewis said. If it's not ..."
Councilman Clay Dorsey pointed out that the city contracts with the fire department for fire protection.
"Last year it (the budget) went up because of fuel costs," he said.
Also coming up on Monday night's agenda are the approval of a resolution authorizing the addition of a $5 "technology fee" on all citations written by city police.
"We don't have any choice but to pass that," said Baker, pointing out that the new fee is a state assessment.
The council will also appoint a representative to the Piedmont Regional Library Board. Baker indicated that the current member, Eddie Brake, would like to remain on the board.