Lancaster to watch spending in new $2 million budget

June 30, 2004|EMILY BURTON

LANCASTER - Next year's budget will take a close watch and tight belts, but it can be done said Mayor Billy Moss. The upcoming budget was unanimously approved during Tuesday's council meeting, ushering in the $2 million water fund and $849,000 general fund.

"We're like most of the other cities in our area that I've read about. We're really going to have to tighten our belts," said Mayor Pro-Tem Donna Powell.

"You could just say across the board, we're going to have to look at our expenses on a monthly basis, instead of quarterly," said Moss. But of all the arenas, the sewer and water departments will need the most coddling added Powell.

The sewer system has not been overhauled since 1988, said Moss. Any plant that old will eat up its funding through repairs and patches.


The water system also will be a focus of the council in the new fiscal year, starting July 1. The city recently finalized several grants and loans to help float a massive water distribution system upgrade, set to replace some of the oldest pipes throughout various parts of town.

The Rural Development loan, Community Development Block grant and Kentucky Infrastructure Authority loan have contributed to the new, multi-million dollar water budget.

According to Interim utilities manager Millard Rose, the funding will help the city increase water pressure in select spots, as well as provide adequate aquatic support for much-needed fire hydrants.

Sewer projects also receive added financial support

The city's multiple sewer projects also will see added financial support in the upcoming year. Tuesday, the council approved the withdraw of three certificates of deposit from Whitaker Bank to be put toward the sewer system. The estimated $97,000 total will help finance connecting homes on Danville Street to the sewer system, upgrading sewer lines on U.S. 27 north, and paying off the city's bill for the sewer project on Price Court.

In contrast, one city department has approval to create a new CD. The estimated $18,000 surplus in the fire department budget will be placed in a CD in hopes of using it in the future for a new fire truck. It will join a total of approximately $43,000 worth of CD's the department is currently holding at Whitaker Bank.

"Anything that we can put into a CD will help somebody in the future," said Fire Chief Ken Adams. Adams added that, at an estimated cost of $200,000 or more, the price of a new fire truck could become a burden if the entire amount had to be borrowed.

In other business, the council voted not to put speed bumps on Price Court to slow repeat speeders. Rather, the council approved the placement of several strict signs and a stronger effort from the police department to enforce the speed limit.

Several members stated that, while they sympathize with parents whose children ride bikes in the dead-end street, speeders are often not residents of that court and hence speed bumps will only serve to aggravate those who have to cross them multiple times a day.

The council will meet again at 7 p.m. July 6.

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