By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
June 19, 2013 — In a four-hour marathon session Tuesday night, Olive Hill City Council tackled budget issues, made a final decision on the old airport property and appointed a new city clerk.
Mayor Kenny Fankell nominated Angela Owens to fill the city clerk’s position being vacated by Cheri James.
Owens has served as assistant city clerk since 2003 and has worked at City Hall for the past 20 years in the administrative and the utility departments.
Council unanimously approved the appointment Owens will immediately assume the position.
After lengthy discussion, Council held the first reading of an amendment to its current fiscal year budget, transferring $7,000 from the recreation fund to the police department to cover the department’s current payroll.
Fankell lamented the police department’s finances, hinting that more drastic measures might have to be taken in order to balance the budget before the end of the fiscal year.
“Even with this extra money, the police budget is going to be about $4,500 short when the year ends,” the mayor said. “I don’t want to do it, but we might have to look at laying people off if we can’t come up with a solution.”
Fankell also added that he believes the general fund also is looking at a $26,000 shortfall.
“I’m working with the former mayor’s budget and trying to do the best I can but we have to face facts -- we are just not bringing in enough revenue to pay for all of these things,” Fankell added.
Council also gave first reading to its proposed budget for 2013-2014 with total appropriations of $1,602,440 for the general fund and $7,674,500 for the utility department.
This budget represents a nearly $300,000 cut from the general fund’s current budget, a move Fankell says was necessary to give a more realistic outlook to the city’s finances next year.
In other business, Council unanimously voted to sell Sellers Field as surplus property. The decommissioned airport property is located outside the city limits.
Various potential uses for the land had been discussed over the past year but the cost of maintaining the property forced the decision to sell the land.
Council will hold a special meeting later this month to give final approval of the 2013-2014 budget before July 1.
Joe Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 286-4201.