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Lebanon Mayor Gary Crenshaw has proposed a 2 percent pay increase for city employees and financing the purchase of a new street sweeper as part of the 2011-12 budget. Crenshaw presented his proposal during his annual budget address during a special-called meeting of the Lebanon City Council Monday evening.
Crenshaw's budget proposal includes projected revenues of nearly $5.42 million in the city's general fund and $3.21 million in the sewer fund. The budget projection for the 2010-11 fiscal year includes receipts of $6.26 million in the general fund and $3.22 million in the sewer fund.
The mayor's proposed general fund expenses for 2011-12 are nearly $5.26 million and $1.53 million in the sewer. The projected expenses for the current fiscal year are $5.62 million in the general fund and $1.44 million in the sewer fund.
The budget proposal includes more than $8.63 million in revenue for the city and nearly $6.8 million in expenses.
Crenshaw noted that his budget proposal includes the pay increase, financing a street sweeper (which is estimated to cost $175,000 to $200,000), new equipment for the fire and police departments, improvements at the park and the aquatic center, and equipment and improvements for the sewer department.
The mayor's proposal is the starting point for the city's budgeting process. Crenshaw said he was looking forward to working with the council on the budget, and he reminded them that the budget must be approved by June 30.
"I believe it fulfills the obligation we have of providing safety, security, economic growth, necessary city services, and a stable infrastructure and, finally, fiscal soundness," he said.
The only other item on the agenda for the city council was prioritization of recommendations for the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission.
The council received a list of 14 ideas submitted by council members for the tourism commission.
Crenshaw asked if the council wanted to prioritize which items it wanted to pass along to the commission or just pass along all the suggestions.
Councilwoman Kate Palagi supported passing along all the suggestions.
"They need to see all of them," Palagi said.
She added that she was not saying what the commission should do with the suggestions.
During an earlier meeting, the council agreed to give the commission 90 days to implement changes. Palagi sought a clarification on when that 90 days started. City Administrator John O. Thomas said the 90 days started with the commission's last meeting.
The council voted 4-0 in favor of passing along all 14 suggestions to the tourism commission. Council members Kenny Marrett and Denise Fogle were not present at Monday's meeting.
The city's suggestions for the tourism commission include sponsoring more local events, investing in brick and mortar projects, creating a complaint/comment procedure, disallowing funding for events outside of Marion County, creating an ad committee to approve all advertisements and to be more practical about where it advertises, creating advertising for all local restaurants (not just a few), event coordinating, making local events a priority and using local businesses to put on those events, creating more activities at Centre Square, eliminating advertising for romantic getaways, and better communication between the commission and its director with the city council (including monthly reports).