Lanett approves budget, expects $11.2 million in revenue

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

LANETT — On Monday, the Lanett City Council approved a 2018-19 operating budget based on $11.2 million in anticipated revenue and $9.7 million in anticipated expenses. The difference of around $1.5 million will be transferred to the general fund.

The lion’s share of the revenue, some $6.8 million, will come from the Electrical Department. A little more than $1.7 million will come from the airport. This is in the form of grant money that has been approved to pay for ongoing improvements. Some $828,000 in revenue will come from the water department, and $704,000 from the sewer department. In terms of expenses, $5.5 million will go  to the Electrical Department, $1.8 million to the airport, $1.1 million to the water department, $727,000 for gas and $530,000 for sewer.

Mayor Kyle McCoy thanked City Clerk Deborah Gilbert, the Finance Committee and the department heads for putting in some hard work in getting this done earlier than it’s been done in the past. “Being on time helps us with our audits,” he said. “This process is more than putting numbers on pages. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into this, and we appreciate the work that’s been done.”

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Ryan Pearce of Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood was at the meeting for an update with the airport project. “We have made a lot of progress,” he said. “We are ready for a final walk through on Phase I. We will be going over the punch list on Tuesday. Hopefully we will have the final project completed and the runway would be active by the end of the current calendar year.”

The council approved a resolution seeking more grant funding for the current project. “There are some needs,” he said. “We need to continue with environmental mitigation and do some design work for the taxiway. We will be talking to DOT, and they will decide the direction we can take.”

The resolution passed Monday was a pre-application for funding in 2019. “We have submitted a build grant for a new road to the airport,” Pearce said. “The existing entrance road could be paved by the county.”

The council approved another resolution expressing its support of the after-school program at W.O. Lance Elementary School. The council has supported this program for the last five years. It agreed to provide $45,000 in funding for the program in 2019. “This program promotes positive relationships,” the resolution reads, “There’s a commitment to learning, decision making and conflict resolution skills.”

The council approved a proclamation recognizing the month of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and presented a copy of it to Narfunda Ross of Team WHIP (Working to Help those In Pink). Mayor McCoy said that he’d been most impressed by what Team WHIP had been doing in the way of promoting breast cancer awareness. “We had an event at the (Jane Farrar) Event Center in February, and they had between 35 and 40 survivors there. Team WHIP is a strong support mechanism in our city. If there’s someone who needs someone to listen to them, Team WHIP will do that for them. As Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘I’d much rather be told well done than well said.”

Ross said that she appreciated the city’s support for such events as the breast cancer survivor’s day at the event center and the Mardi Gras for Ta Tas event this past summer.

“We have a very giving community,” the mayor said. “There are times when we beat up on ourselves, but we always come through when we need to.”

Mayor McCoy presented a plaque to City Clerk/Treasurer Deborah Gilbert in appreciation of her recently graduating from a three-year program taught at the University of Alabama on being a certified revenue officer. “When we hired her, we hired the best,” he said.

Gilbert thanked the council for their support. “I feel really loved in Lanett,” she said.

Gilbert has one more class to take on being a certified city clerk. She said that she intends to complete that course as well.