Mount Carmel approves 2020-21 budget minus alderman's request for $125K garbage truck

Jeff Bobo • Jun 30, 2020 at 9:00 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — The Mount Carmel Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave final approval to its 2020-21 budget last week, although there were two dissenting votes after an unsuccessful attempt to add the purchase of a garbage truck to the expenditures.

As presented to the BMA last Thursday, the 2020-21 budget showed a $59,000 surplus, $4.5 million in the bank and no tax increase.

During discussion of the budget’s second and final reading at the June 25 BMA meeting, Alderman Steven McLain made a motion to add $125,000 to budget expenditures for the purchase of a trash truck, which was seconded by Alderman Jim Gilliam.

Mount Carmel currently contracts with Kingsport for residential garbage pickup at a cost of a little more than $13,000 per month.

McLain said his motion to amend the 2020-21 budget was “just in case either Kingsport don't want to renew our contract, or this next board that will be coming in November decides they want a truck — the money will already be appropriated.”

In January 2019, McLain suggested issuing a five year note for about $400,000 to purchase one automated garbage truck and new residential garbage cans as needed. He said the cost of repaying that note over five years would be much less than the cost of the Kingsport contract.

McLain's amendment was defeated 2-3 with McLain and Gilliam in favor, and Mayor Jennifer Williams, vice mayor Pat Stilwell and Alderman Wanda Davidson opposed.

A motion to approve the second and final reading of the budget was approved 3-2 with Gilliam and McLain opposed.

Among the highlights of the approved budget were the purchase of a new brush truck; purchasing a new patrol car to replace a high mileage unit; adding a police position so that there will be two officers patrolling overnight seven days a week instead of one officer; and a $5,000 cut to the Senior Center contribution, from $17,000 to $12,000.

The budget also allocates funds to hire a new CFO early enough to be trained by longtime CFO Tammy Conner, who is retiring at the end of December. The budget also increases employee wage allocations by 3% to account for pay raises.

It won’t be an across-the-board 3% raise for city employees, however. Instead, each employee will receive an evaluation and be eligible for up to a 35-cent pay increase based on that evaluation.

Bulk waste and large item policy

Also on June 25, the BMA unanimously approved the second and final reading of an ordinance revising the town's large item pickup policy.

“It's basically the same except we're saying that you have to break down cardboard boxes, and brush will be picked up all the time, but large bulk items which includes things like refrigerators, washing machines and things like that, would just be picked up the last full week of the month. We're still picking up the same types of items we've always picked up, but it will just be one week per month.”

The policy will take affect on Oct. 1.

Mount Carmel librarian job opening

Williams informed the board that she is taking applications for the Mount Carmel Public Library head librarian position. She said some candidates have been interviewed, and declined the position due to the amount of responsibility and the level of responsibility.

“We're still looking. We haven't given up the quest so if you know anyone who would like to do around 30 hours per week and put forth some supervision over the other two librarians, send them my way,” Williams said.

For more information about the librarian position, call Mount Carmel City Hall at (423) 357-7311.


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