City adopts amendment, balancing budget

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

The city has managed to balance its 2008-09 fiscal-year budget after adopting an amendment that showed increases and re-allocations in several funds.

The commission voted unanimously 5-0 Monday night to adopt the amendment to the general revenue fund.

According to a city budget report, there was a $37, 940.35 increase to the general revenue fund for the fiscal year.  Grants to local law enforcement and fire rescue services account for most of the increase, but the report showed $17,000 came in the form of donations from private individuals and businesses.  

The revised total for general revenues now stands at $3,057,306.53.

The report showed a $3,500 increase to the city’s utility fund budget, which came in the form of a sewer grant.  The current budget for this fund is $1,557,297.64.

The budget amendment also showed that $5,000 of unspent money originally meant for building improvement was re-allocated to pay for repair to a mower.

In other matters:

• Commissioners voted unanimously to place a sewage project within the capitol improvement section of the city’s new comprehensive plan.

The project, which is estimated to cost $527,300, will be considered a priority in dealing with the growth of Chiefland.

City Manager Grady Hartzog said the project would come in two phases.  The first phase would involve building a new sewage-pumping station on Northwest 12th Drive. The second phase would include adding a little over a mile’s worth of pipe from the sewer plant to two separate sewage pumping locations.

Hartzog said the issue was first addressed in 2007 when a city official explained that two existing sewage-pumping stations, which handle most of the waste from the northern part of Chiefland, were already close to capacity.

• Commissioners also voted 5-0, in what is to be the final reading, to establish a utility service area for the city.

According to the new ordinance, the utility service area was enacted to facilitate delivery of water and wastewater services to areas that will be in the city's future expansion.

The ordinance also states that any buildings or structures built on property within the utility service area after water or sewer mains have been installed are required to connect with those mains, if the new building or structure is located close to a public right-of-way or easement containing city water or sewer mains.