City releases beer tax report

City manager Ed Lowe reported $48,411.21 in beer excise tax revenues for Oneonta’s first six months sales period. By past resolution, those funds are earmarked at 50 percent to the city’s general fund and 25 percent each to police/fire and Oneonta City Schools.

In discussion with The Blount Countian, Lowe noted that the more than $12,000 set for schools had not been distributed. He explained that the city held the funds in escrow awaiting the state Supreme Court ruling on alcohol sales and later legislative action. He speculates that the tax figure may rise in the second half of the year. In his report, Lowe also announced that sales tax revenues were more than $81,000 over budget estimates.

Councilors approved a proclamation designating April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. In member reports, councilors Tonya Rogers, Mark Gargus, and Tim McNair won approval for capital expenditures.

Rogers asked for $2,700 for three desktop computers for the city fire department. Gargus obtained $13,500 for a new Kubota tractor for parks and recreation. McNair’s motion calls for the purchase of a new police vehicle at state bid list pricing. Additionally, councilors approved Kelly Duarte as a summer intern with the library.

In her comments, Rogers spoke of the relevance of the child abuse proclamation and asserted that an official report shows heroin use up 15 percent this year in Oneonta alone. That report ranks that increase as the highest for any city in the state, she noted.

Lowe won approval to advertise for a contractor for work on airport site preparation pursuant to its latest awarded grant. Beautification board chair Marlene Stroud asked for citizen recommendations for monthly residential and commercial beautification awards.

Upon completion of the regular agenda items, councilors recessed into executive session. Mayor Ross Norris explained the council would consider pending legal matters. He also noted the council would take no action other than adjournment once it returned to regular session.

Councilors Hal Blackwood and Danny Robinson joined Rogers, Gargus, McNair, and Norris for the April 28 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.