Murray City Council drafts new budget, passes ordinances

Story by Paige Effinger, Contributing writer

The Murray City Council drafted a new budget calendar and passed new ordinances at its semi-monthly meeting March 9.

Luke Crawford, member of the finance team that oversees the draft budget calendar, will have the finance review committee sessions on April 11 and 25. Crawford presented the calendar to the council and said it is very similar to what they did last year.

“This is only going to capture revenues and expenditures,” Crawford said.

One problem that was raised by Dan Miller, city council member, is that the city has a capital budget, which means the funds they spend to purchase big items are spread out through different departments.

“To me, it doesn’t seem as streamlined as it needs to be,” Miller said.

He said in comparison to different cities, Murray sets up their capital budget differently. Most other comparable cities have a capital budget that prioritizes big ticket items within each department. Murray’s capital budget is set up in a way that big ticket items are paid for by all departments.

“Big parts in the general fund in terms of cost is the fire department and the police department,” Mayor Jack Rose said.  “Most of our debts service in the general fund is for the new police station, that plans that we’ve developed is about $2.5 million. Some of the new fire trucks, and so forth,”

Rose said they needed to prioritize in every category and then prioritize in the general fund.

Crawford said he will attach the new budget draft calendar to the finance website sometime this week.

The next item on the agenda was presented by Johnny Bohannon, Personnel and Finance Committee Chair. The Chamber of Commerce Facility has requested $90,000 for renovation and upkeep of the existing facility.

Bohannon said the reason behind the renovation was that it is not handicap accessible.

The motion was passed to give the Chamber of Commerce Facility the necessary funds to renovate the facility.

Two amendments were passed in regards to new definitions being added to Ordinances 2017-1725 Chapter 71 and 2017-1726 Chapter 110. This was the first hearing of both ordinances.

Jim Osbourne presented the changes to the ordinances and said there was a committee of city staff members that reviewed the ordinances last fall that suggested these changes.

“They suggested as to some changes that needed to be made to streamline the system, to clarify it and to make it more fair for the public,” Osbourne said.

Ordinances 2017-1725 and 2017-1726 deal with licensing and general licensing respectively. The changes made were operational changes to make the processes easier on employees and to streamline the system.

Several definitions have been added,  as well as additional language to clarify terms in both ordinances.

“The reason it is critical to get it this month is because we start selling city stickers and business licences April 1. Any changes we make need to already be approved by the council this month,” Rose said.

The council passed both ordinances unanimously.

Lastly, the next item brought to attention in the meeting was the annexing of two properties into the city limits of Murray. One property is located at 225 King Richard Dr., and the other is a 20-acre lot located on the east side of Brinn Road.

Both properties were discussed and will be annexed into the Murray City Limits.

The next Murray City Council meeting will be held at Murray City Hall on March 23 at 6:30 p.m.