Collegedale In Good Financial Shape, City Manager Reports

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - by Gail Perry

The July and August financial report from City Manager Ted Rogers, given at the commission meeting Monday night, shows that Collegedale is in good financial shape. Revenue came in as expected and expenses were all within the budget. The city holds $2 million in a contingency fund.

The state income tax, which is received one time a year, came in higher than was expected. Mr. Rogers said this money would be used to build up the capital outlay fund for planned upcoming road work. For these street projects, the city will be responsible for 20 percent of the cost.

In August a heavy duty trash/brush loader was purchased for the public works department for $120,000, which is less than the amount that was budgeted for it. Mr. Rogers told the commissioners that in the future Collegedale will try to pay cash for police vehicles to save citizens the cost of financing them.

Revenue also came to the city this month in the form of an insurance payment from the Tennessee Municipal League risk pool. This $58,000 will reimburse the cost for repairing damages at the City Hall caused by a lightning strike earlier in the summer.

The city manager said he has requested that in the future auditors give a full report directly to the commissioners once an audit has been completed.

Rodney Keeton, director of public works, requested and received unanimous approval for the purchase of two new pieces of equipment for his department. A side mower has been put out to bid from the state and is available for a cost of $27,000. The city itself will request bids for a new tractor, which has been budgeted for $45,000.

The operation manager of the Collegedale airport came before the commission to ask for funds to buy a four-wheel drive utility vehicle to be used for ground maintenance. The cost of this equipment is in the current budget for the amount of $25,000. The city will be responsible for 25 percent of the cost and the state will pick up the remaining 75 percent. Commissioners voted to approve funding for the vehicle.

In his individual report, Vice Mayor Tim Johnson said he had been under the impression that years ago Collegedale had established a hotel/motel tax, but in his research he recently found that it had never been done. He requested for the commissioners to pass this tax in preparation for such businesses moving into the city. City Attorney Sam Elliott said he would research the matter and make a recommendation at the next meeting.

On second and final reading, the board of commissioners approved an amendment that will correct wording in the city’s landscape ordinance to make it less confusing.

Elizabeth Cornell from Animal Medical Professionals, a veterinary clinic that serves Collegedale, told the commissioners that the fun run that had been planned to raise money for animal care in the city had been rained out. Even so, the organization doubled the amount it raised the previous year with private donations, business sponsors and pre-registration fees for the race. Refunds were offered after the event was canceled, but not one person took up the offer, she said. 

From the money raised, the clinic has been able to help three individual dogs with medical issues and 10 families in Collegedale with caring for their pets. This fundraiser made an impact for people who have been affected by the troubled economy, said Ms. Cornell.  

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