By Josh Arntz
The Dickson Herald

Published July 10, 2015

The White Bluff Council approved a new budget this week that included 3-percent raises for municipal employees and funds to pave Taylor Town Road, without a property tax increase.

The council convened Tuesday evening at Town Hall for their regular meeting. Mayor Linda Hayes was absent.

The council voted 3-0 approving a final reading of the proposed 2015-2016 fiscal year budget. The previous fiscal year ended June 30.

The final budget reading included “minor revisions” to the proposal presented during the council’s June 2 meeting.

Public Works Director Jeff Martin noted via email those revisions were to the police department’s salary line item, which increased from an initial $200,562 for five full-time and two part-time officers to $204,239.

Martin explained the officers’ 3-percent salary increases originally were “figured” based on $16 an hour “when they should have been based” on $16.50 an hour. That change also had to be accounted for in the line items for the town’s matching expenses for the officers’ Social Security, Medicare and retirement benefits, he added, which increased slightly from the initial proposal.

No one spoke during a public hearing for the budget during Tuesday’s meeting.

Councilperson Stephanie Murrell moved to approve the budget, seconded by Councilperson Martha Beth Harding. Vice Mayor Dan Clark conducted the meeting in Hayes’ absence and abstained from voting.

Councilperson Connie Reed also abstained since her spouse is a town employee.

“It was the right thing to do because my husband works for the city,” Reed said after the meeting. “Everything in the budget was warranted.”

The budget included $167,275 from the State Street Aid fund to pave Taylor Town Road. Budget producers based that figure on an estimate obtained last year.

Taylor Town and Pleasant View roads sit at the top of a prioritized list for local street paving.

The General Fund budget projected $2.079 million in revenues and $2.078 million in expenses, increasing about $486,000 and $493,000 respectively over last year.

Other business

The council voted 4-0 during Tuesday’s meeting to retain James + Associates for engineering services related to paving Taylor Town Road and for a preliminary estimate to pave Sullivan Alley. The consulting firm has provided engineering services for recent paving projects in town.

The council voted 4-0 in a final reading to reduce the required distance for beer sales within proximity to churches and schools from 800 feet to 300 feet.

The council voted 4-0 to adopt the 2015 HOME program policies and procedures, with an amendment to add an additional 10 points for elderly and disabled applicants and five points for female heads of the household applicants.

White Bluff recently received a $250,000 HOME grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency to repair substandard homes for as many as 16 low income households.

Eligible households can submit an application to be considered and will be scored according to the program standards established by the town, a press release reported.

For more information, contact Town Hall at (615) 797-3131.

Immediately following Tuesday’s meeting, the White Bluff Beer Board unanimously approved an off-premises consumption beer permit for Manisha Patel’s Mei Market No. 2 on Highway 70 East, previously Stevrita’s Market.

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