Collegedale Commission Passes $8.6 Million Budget With No Property Tax Increase

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - by Gail Perry

The budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 was approved at the Collegedale commission meeting Monday night. The budget total is $8,637,165 with no property tax increase. The tax rate remains at $1.34 for every $100 of assessed value.

A large building project that is included in the planned expenditures is updating and replacing Imagination Station, the playground located behind city hall. A half million dollars is budgeted for this new park.

Changes were also made to amend the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget to match actual expenditures. City Manager Ted Rogers told the commissioners that the adjustment of $450,000 was primarily due to the unbudgeted purchase of a truck and insurance for it.

The city manager who helps create the budget cannot give a raise to himself, said Mayor John Turner, leaving the responsibility to the commissioners. A two-percent cost of living increase for City Manager Ted Rogers had been built into the newly finalized budget. Commissioner Larry Hanson said that Mr. Rogers does a lot for the city and made a motion to raise his salary to four percent. The vote was unanimous to do so which now will require the new budget to be amended.

On first reading, a resolution was passed to extend medical insurance benefits to the board of commissioners. Mayor Turner said it was not his intent to provide lifetime benefits when he made the proposal. It will be offered during the time that a commissioner works for the city and like other jobs, Cobra will be available when a term ends.

Director of Public Works Rodney Keeton told the commissioners that the low bid on paving is from Wright Brothers Construction. The city will pave four roads this year for a total of two miles. That distance will require 2,209 tons of asphalt at $96.80 per ton.

Chris Swain, director of airport operations received the commissioner’s approval for the application and acceptance of a grant for $14,300. This will provide a 50/50 match for any money the city spends on maintenance at the Collegedale Municipal Airport.

Tracy Hobeck, a resident of Collegedale for just four months was introduced by Mayor Turner. She has a background in therapeutic recreation and in architecture said the mayor, and an interest in the city where she now lives. He nominated Ms. Hobeck to fill a vacancy on the Collegedale planning commission. Her appointment was approved by a unanimous vote. 

The mayor also gave a reminder about the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration. It will be held at Veteran’s Park and will feature the East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra beginning at 8 p.m. Fireworks will begin at dark. This will be the largest display that the city has ever had, he said. 

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