City departments have begun crunching numbers and making wish lists as part of budget preparations for the upcoming fiscal year.
Glasgow Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman told the Glasgow City Council Finance Committee at its regular meeting Tuesday that she distributed budget packets at a department head meeting last week. In addition to the three supervisors – from the cemetery, parks and recreation and building inspection and code enforcement departments – who made presentations to the committee Tuesday, Trautman identified a few miscellaneous budget items for the committee to mull.
A special-called meeting is set for April 15, at which fire, police and emergency communications department heads will report. The remaining departments – public works and administrative – will be on the agenda for the next regular meeting April 22. Both meetings are scheduled for 10 a.m. in the conference room adjacent to Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall.
Parks & recreation
Eddie Furlong, director of the parks and recreation department, said the tennis courts at Gorin Park are due for repairs. He said the cost to fix all eight is about $50,000 – up from about $40,000 that was quoted last year.
“We’ve kind of let them go over the last several years,” Furlong said.
Two of the courts have gotten considerably worse recently, he said, and there is the possibility of doing them in phases over two or more years.
“But it’s something that really needs to be looked at,” he said.
Councilman Harold “M.D.” Armstrong said repairing the courts in phases could create issues during tournaments, because some courts would be in better condition than others. Trautman echoed Armstrong’s concern.
Councilman Brad Groce asked if money Glasgow Independent Schools pays to lease the courts could be designated for such a project. Furlong said he sent a letter Tuesday to Glasgow Superintendent Sean Howard suggesting that. The school district paid the city $30,000 for the current budget year, which has been used for upgrades at American Legion Park. Furlong said he hopes the same agreement will be extended for next year.
Trautman said using the lease money makes sense to her, as the students would benefit from it.
Meanwhile, Furlong said portable fences for the ballfields at Beaver Trail Park would help make the fields an appropriate size for youth games. He estimated $5,000 would be enough for two or three fences, and the remaining fields could have fences added in the next budget cycle, he said.
He also wants to enclose the concession stand breezeway at Beaver Trail to enlarge the concession work and storage areas. His estimate was about $7,000. The bathrooms would remain accessible to the public, because exterior doors to those have been installed to make them available even when the concession stand is closed.
Finally, Furlong said the three sets of wooden double doors at the department’s Liberty Street offices – which he thinks are original to the building – are in bad shape and the locking mechanisms need to be replaced. The estimate for the new hardware is about $6,000, and the doors can be replaced outright for about $9,000.
Glasgow Municipal Cemetery sexton Paul Bragg said he wants to buy a Grasshopper rear-discharge deck riding lawn mower. He mentioned a price of about $11,000. It would be the third such mower for the department.
“They work really, really good in the cemetery,” Bragg said. “They keep you from blowing so much grass on the stones and markers and all that. ... This particular deck is a little bit more expensive than the side discharge deck, but I feel like for the cemetery, it’s well worth it.”
Bragg also he will need a little more for general maintenance and repairs, due to aging equipment and some trees that need attention. He also said he expects to need more in the fuel budget.
Building and code inspection
Building inspector Thom Kendall’s main requests are for vehicle maintenance, buying two computers and either leasing or purchasing a printer/copier that accommodates large documents such as building plans.
Trautman said bids were being opened Tuesday for roof work on two city buildings – the chamber of commerce building next to City Hall and the facility housing the Glasgow Fire Department and dispatch center. Trautman said the fire/dispatch building might be given priority in order to prevent damage to the equipment there.
The committee is likely to request a budget amendment so work can be done in the current budget year, with other work to occur in FY 2014-15, she said.
The Community Relief Fund requested $10,000 more than the $80,000 normally budgeted for it, as well as a one-time contribution of $1,500 to get Charity Tracker software up and running so local charitable organizations can communicate about resources clients are receiving so services aren’t duplicated.
Trautman also said the city normally commits to $20,000 for the soccer board but would only need to put in $17,500 for the coming fiscal year.
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