Stanford OKs budget, praises police officers

June 04, 2004|TIM WISEMAN

STANFORD - Stanford City Council had first reading of its 2004-2005 budget Thursday night. The budget had been read in May but was amended and a new first reading had to be made.

The cost of insurance for vehicle, liability and workers' compensation rose 20 percent, so the budget had to be amended, Mayor Eddie Carter said.

"This is robbery," council member Steve Lucas said of the insurance increase made by the League of Cities. "We are being held hostage."

Carter said the increase could not be helped, and insurance had to come through the League of Cities.

The council will have second reading of the budget July 1. Because the fiscal year ends on June 30, the city will operate for 18 hours on the old budget until a new one is passed. City Attorney Carol Hill said the delay won't be a problem.


Earlier in the meeting, Carter presented the Stanford police force plaques recognizing their efforts in the case of Tanya Shelton, the nurse who allegedly kidnapped a newborn at Fort Logan Hospital. Police Chief Keith Middleton, Detective Rick Edwards and Sgts. Greg Hill, Jim Steberl, T.J. Hill and B. Allen were honored.

"When you're small, you have to do it all," said Middleton. "And I appreciate all that these guys do."

City's storm warning system discussed

In other business, the council discussed the use of the city's storm warning system and asked Fire Chief Ken McDaniel to find out the cost of adding more sirens so that more areas of Stanford could hear the warnings.

Middleton also reported that no traffic problems have occurred since the signals on Main Street were taken down for repair.

"I've had 20 people at least say they wish (the signals) never go back up," Carter said.

Council member Lucas brought up the issue of rising basic cable rates in the community. He said the rate had risen from $16.02 per month to $17.95, an increase of $1.93.

"What they're doing is gouging us," Lucas said of Aldephia Cable Co. "I hate to be taken advantage of. I wished they'd told us they were going to get the $11,000 back by raising rates." Lucas was referring to money the city received from the cable company as part of its new contract.

Carter agreed that the cable company is difficult to deal with.

"They're arrogant, arrogant people," he said.

Hill, the city attorney, said the council could take action with an audit, if it felt basic cable rates had been raised unfairly. The council cannot act against increases in premium cable packages, she said.

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