The Monett City Council adopted its $44.2 million budget for 2012-13 and formally reduced spending for the 2011-12 year by more than $1 million at the council's regular March meeting on Tuesday.
The proposed budget passed on third reading without additional discussion. The spending plan includes $6.7 million of the $12 million bond issue for the new water treatment plant, plus plans to rebuild the City Park Casino for $900,000, buy a new fire truck for $250,000 and build a new clubhouse for the golf course.
The budget goes into effect with the beginning of the new fiscal year on April 1.
Another ordinance was passed to amend the budget for 2011-12 to match actual spending. City Administrator Dennis Pyle said the year will end better than initially projected.
Revenues were adjusted upwards by $399,935 with the refund from the Missouri Department of Revenue for an overpayment of taxes on industrial electricity sales. Funds held in escrow by Lawrence County during the litigation over the city's tax increment financing (TIF) program had also been released.
Spending was reduced by $1,083,974. Pyle said planned capital improvements at Monett Municipal Airport had been pushed into the coming year since approval for the expansion had not yet received authorization from the state.
Pyle said less than $1 million of the $1.4 million committed to the new water treatment plant had been spent. Engineering bills would be paid in the coming year as they arrive.
Council members gave final approval to three pending ordinances on final reading. A new city law on making false declarations to police and not showing up in court to support the accusations was adopted. An additional retirement option for city employees was approved, enabling city workers to pay into their plan.
An ordinance returning the city to an early-1990s policy allowing utilities connections to residents outside the city limits was adopted. Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said those outside the city will pay 20 percent more for utilities until they annex.
The council agreed to again participate in the Missouri Highway Safety Program. Participation makes the city eligible for grant money through the Department of Transportation's highway safety division.
Police Sergeant Dennis Camp said the city will seek grant money to pay for overtime on special enforcement efforts on driving while intoxicated and hazardous moving violations. The city received $6,000 in the past year and $4,000 two years ago. Camp anticipated a new grant would bring around $5,000 to the city.
Council members approved renewing a one-year lease agreement with the Monett Historical Society for the property at 705 E. Broadway with no rate changes.
Parking lot rental leases for spaces in the lot at 212 Fifth St., the site of the former police station, were renewed. Pyle said the city leases 16 spaces to the CPA Group, Modern Variety and Mocha Jo's coffee cafe. Mayor Jim Orr said some spaces are still available.
The opening of bids for the new fire truck was rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. on March 26. Bids were still being accepted through Thursday.
Council members voted to reduce the rent for the Barry County Emergency Management office, which relocated to the Justice Center. Orr said the rent has been $300 a month since the county operation began leasing space at the Monett Community Center.
The request for a reduced rent of $100 had been requested due to decreased funding. Commissioner Jerry Dierker short-circuited what had been planned as discussion only by moving to approve the lower rate.
"I'd rather keep them here if we can," Dierker said. Other council members agreed and passed the plan.
The next monthly meeting was reset for April 19, instead of the 20th. Orr said a hearing on the longstanding lawsuit by Jason and Jennifer Inman over unauthorized installation of a storm water channel through their property was scheduled for the regular time. Council members planned to attend the court session, he said.