The Monett City Council approved placing the motto "In God We Trust" above the seal of the State of Missouri in the Monett council chambers. The action was taken during the March council meeting.
Mayor Jim Orr said he received a mailing promoting placement of the motto.
"I thought it was a great idea," Orr said. "[City Commissioner] Jerry [Dierker] came up with adding 'City of Monett' as well."
No objections were raised to the addition to the wall behind the council members' table, and the proposal passed.
Council members approved the budget for fiscal year 2011-12, which begins on April 1. City Administrator Dennis Pyle said the budget calls for revenues of $33,545,606 and spending of $39,284,566.
"The general fund is balanced with $7,577.16 in revenues and $7,577,660 in appropriations," Pyle said. "Twenty-nine thousand dollars are set aside for contingencies."
The budget projected income from sales tax would grow by 1 percent or approximately $30,000, the first increase in two years.
Revenue from the 911 fund would cover the expected shortfall of $49,280, caused by the discontinuation of the surcharge on land lines with passage of the Barry County 911 sales tax. The surcharge had produced around $65,000 a year. Pyle said the general fund would have to cover 911 costs in the future.
New expenses in the budget included part of the city's $40,000 commitment to the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative over the next three years and $33,000 for a downtown flood mitigation study. The city is also continuing its commitment with the Downtown Betterment Group and the Chamber of Commerce to provide $20,000 to the downtown Main Street program.
An election will be called on Aug. 2 to pass a revenue bond issue for water system improvements. Pyle said the public vote is a requirement to borrow low-interest money from the State Revolving Fund. No rate increases will be requested in the bond issue vote.
The budget includes $100,000 to renovate the Community Building at County Road and Maple. Pyle expected half of the cost to be recovered through grant reimbursements. The Community Building will become the new site for Missouri Career Center offices and training site.
Architectural services relating to renovating the City Park Casino were included in the budget, but no major renovations. Orr said if other funds became available, such as a 10 percent increase in sales tax income, he would consider moving forward with remodeling the 84-year-old facility in the coming year.
The budget earmarked $2.6 million for capital improvements, including the Community Center work and $1.4 million to complete the water system main installations with the addition of a booster pump and well station.
The remaining $1.1 million in capital improvements include the following items:
* Relocating and installing a new automated weather observatory station (AWOS) at the airport, $330,000. Ninety percent of the cost will be reimbursed by the state.
* A new sideloader sanitation truck to replace an older model, $202,000.
* Replace the Electric Department's #12 truck, $145,000.
* Overhaul the sludge holding tank at the waste treatment plant, $110,000.
* Replace the Water Department's Truck #31, $85,000.
* Four NOVA switches and three VAR controllers for the Electric Department, $70,000.
* A new one-ton dump truck with an eight-foot snow plow for the Street Department, $49,000.
* Two new Ford Crown Victoria police cruisers on the state bid, $44,750.
* Fifteen sets of new bunker gear for the Fire Department, $40,000.
* Puller and tensioner equipment for the Electric Department, $35,000.
* Lab equipment and monitoring control equipment to run sewer plant operations from off-site, $25,000.
* Miscellaneous hardware and software for the fiber optics program, $15,000.
The budget listed 10 items costing nearly $200,000 as capital improvement contingencies. These ranged from renovating the blue maintenance shed at the cemetery to new portable radios for the firemen to new mowers for the park and cemetery.
Other financial action
The 2010-11 budget was amended to match actual expenditures. Pyle said revenues increased by nearly $1.6 million over expectations, mostly due to an increase in electricity rates from Empire District Electric that was passed on to customers. Spending overall decreased by $3,116,226.
Pyle had hoped the city could spend an additional $3.7 million to pay off bonds for the tax increment financing (TIF) program since funds were available early from the Missouri Department of Transportation. The bonds were not available for recall, however, pushing the deebt retirement into another year.
Council members approved paying bills of $1,956,705 for the month.
Major bills included purchase of a new bucket truck for the Electric Department from Altec Industries at a cost of $176,000. Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said the old truck would go to the airport to help maintain the facility.
The purchase of around 425 radio-read water meters was authorized for $85,000. Rauch said another purchase next year will complete the conversion to meters requiring no visual contact.
Other expenditures included $1,090,390 to Empire District Electric for wholesale electricity, $43,000 for liability insurance from One Beacon and $205,000 for worker's comp insurance from Missouri Rural Services.