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Vienna City Council discusses budget

By BECKY CRISSMAN

becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

VIENNA — Mayor and council members here held their regular meeting Monday night to discuss business of the city.

One of the main topics on the night’s agenda was the city’s FY2016-2017 budget. Mayor Hobby Stripling and members of the council have been working diligently for months to finalize the budget for the coming year and as of Monday night it looks as though they will be able to do so without any tax increases. Public hearings regarding the budget were held on August 17 and August 22 and the millage rate will remain at 13.5 mills. There were no comments from members of the public at either hearing. Council members voted to continue with the advertising process required before the budget can be officially adopted. The board expects to be able to vote on the budget at the Monday, September 12 meeting. 

Council members also approved two Alcohol Beverage Licenses for beer and wine sales for The Zippy 2 and Pig Jig Mart. The name of the corporation under which the establishments operates changed which necessitates a new application approval process. All necessary paperwork, advertising, fingerprinting and background checks were completed. Council approved the motion unanimously.

City Administrator Michael Bowens informed council members the city was required to obtain their own ORI number to perform fingerprinting for background checks. Bowens advised he had attended necessary training.

Council members also approved Amendment No.21 of the CH2M Contract for Wastewater Treatment. The amendment is to the agreement for Operations, Maintenance, and Management Services contract between the City of Vienna and OMI for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. OMI performs the services for the treatment that primarily handles wastewater from the Tyson facility. The city bills Tyson for the service.

A resolution was presented to council for approval to amend and restate the city’s gas supply contract with the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia. The contract is for the delivery and provision of adequate and dependable wholesale supply of gas to meet the needs of the citizens and businesses of Vienna.

A contract with Tax Specialists of Georgia – Southeast LLC was also approved by the board on Monday night. Tax Specialists reviews the city’s records pertaining to any and all wastewater, drinking water treatment or landfill projects in order to determine if the city paid any Georgia Sales Tax by the general contractors or their subs. Tax Specialists will only be paid out of any monies recovered. There is no cost to the city.

Council approved a lease-purchase agreement of the former Ford Training Center property. The property has large buildings suitable for storing equipment out of the weather and will be sufficient for housing the maintenance shop. It will also provide office and meeting space and house the city’s public works department.

The next item for the council approval was the city’s intergovernmental contract with the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency (GIRMA). The agency provides risk management services and administers group self-insurance funds to prevent or lessen the incidence of casualty and property losses occurring in the operations of the city. The contract had to be amended in order to conform with current laws. Council approved the contract unanimously.

A request was submitted to the board for the city to abandon its part of the southern portion of Christmas Drive. Administrator Michael Bowens informed council the road serves no significant purpose to the city. Board members voted to proceed with the abandonment and will advertise and hold required public hearings for citizen input before approval. The county has also been asked to abandon its portion of that road.

Also in his report to council, Bowens advised that the well in the south Industrial Park is in need of repair and they are currently awaiting estimates for that work. Bowens speculated they may receive a recommendation to lower the well.

Bowens said the city would like to encourage citizens to place house numbers out and visible, possibly on mailboxes. This will benefit first responders in the event of an emergency situation.

The city will also be exploring the possibility of city hall becoming a location to accept payments for Georgia Power once the Vienna office closes next month.