Oneonta approves budget of almost $6.4 million

With the new fiscal year approaching, the Oneonta City Council approved a 2012 budget of $6,390,100. That budget falls more than $460,000 below the city’s 2011 budget of $6,857,100. The bulk of that decrease came by reducing anticipated revenues $622,000 from funds transfers. While the budget anticipates a decline in a few other revenue sources, most reflect an expected increase.

The budget anticipates $660,450 in debtservice payments. That figure could change as the council approved refinancing its 2004 warrant obligations. The agreement with Merchant Capital LLC reflects market changes as many governmental bodies seek to take advantage of record-low interest rates.

The council approved a $467,631.90 contract with Bama Utility Co for a sewer improvement project funded through a federal/state community development block grant. Any local funds would come through the utilities board, but the city must serve as the overseeing agency for legal purposes.

Gwen Blackwell of the United Way updated the council on that body’s work. She reported that Blount Countians contributed some $41,000 last year to the charity and received through local agency services more than $450,000.

State Circuit Judge Steven King reported to the council on efforts he has made in his four-and-a-half years in office. He announced he is seeking re-election and asked for support for his campaign.

All council members (Mayor Darryl Ray, Hal Buckelew, Mark Gargus, Tim McNair, Ross Norris, and Danny Robinson) attended the Sept. 27 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.