April 3, 2014 —
He went on to document his concerns about transferring utility funds to the city’s general fund, going so far as to assert that such a move is against the law.
“I do not believe the budget should be supplemented by utility funds. I can cite a report from the attorney general’s office that says just that,” he added. “It’s not willful neglect to attempt to stop an illegal act and I don’t think it’s reasonable for our citizens to overpay for utilities,”
Fankell opposed the assertion that citizens are being overcharged for their utilities.
“We paid $35,000 to have a professional come in here and look at our rates and draw up a new ordinance. It was passed by a 4-0 vote of the Council, of which Mr. Meade made the motion,” Fankell said.
“We’re not overcharging. The rate is set by an ordinance that this council adopted. So don’t sit back here and say that people are being overcharged,” the mayor added.
“What the mayor doesn’t tell you is that gouging can also constitute paying city workers from the utility fund when they should be paid out of the general fund,” Meade retorted.
Both agreed to end the discussion at that juncture since there is a lawsuit pending against the city regarding past utility rates.
In other business, Council conducted the first reading of an ordinance that would annex West Carter Middle School into the city limits.
When the annexation is finalized, staff members at the school will be subject to the city’s occupational payroll tax.
Council will conduct second readings of the budget amendment and alcohol ordinance at a special meeting on Tuesday, April 8, at 6 p.m.
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.