BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH
SMITHS STATION —
Finances were the central subject of the Smiths Station City Council in May, with the council reviewing and approving the budget.
Mayor F. L. “Bubba” Copeland was back for the May 9 and May 23 meetings after missing the previous council meeting due to a conflict with a different meeting. Place 2 Council Member Morris Jackson conducted that meeting.
City Clerk Morgan Bryce reviewed the General Fund budget for March 2023 — as well as the Solid Waste and Environmental Fund budget for January to March — at the May 9 meeting.
The total income for the month of March was nearly $190,000, while the final net income for the month of March was in the black at nearly $35,500. The total net income for this fiscal year to that point was nearly $376,000.
The total income for the Solid Waste and Environmental Fund budget for the quarter of January through March 2023 was a little over $142,000. Total expenses for the quarter came out to a little over $165,000, leaving the net income in the red at nearly -$23,000. This brings the overall net income to a little less than -$5,000.
Copeland pointed to an automobile expense of nearly $31,000, which the council had approved at a previous meeting, as the reason for the negative net income. The approved expense covered the purchase of a new truck for the Solid Waste Department.
“We’ll renew those funds before the end of the year, but that’s where that negative is,” he said.
The Smiths Station City Council also approved an amendment to the General Fund budget for fiscal year 2022-23 at its May 9 meeting. The amendment concerned funds for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
According to Bryce, the amendment entailed setting a budget for the ARPA fund after the original budget was approved, “providing for severability and providing for an effective date.”
“I’d like to note that these funds were established in 2021 and 2022,” Copeland said. “We’re extending them until 2023, which it looks like we have an offset of a budget deficit, and that’s not the case. Those funds are set aside, in our account.
“It’s just the way … monthly accounting works, so we’re doing a budget — a general fund budget — that’s been approved by our CPA, as well as our city attorney, to pass this just to let people understand that we’re not being un-fiscally responsible. We’re just trying to establish a quorum and letting everybody know that we are being fiscally responsible, but this is why.”
At the May 23 regular city council meeting, the Smiths Station City Council heard its monthly update from the Dwayne Peterson, representing the Smiths Station Fire Protection District Board of Directors.
Following the update, the council also approved the minutes from the previous meeting.
Copeland and the council also expressed support on May 9 for the Smiths Station High School baseball team and other student-athletes in the area ahead of tournament play.
The Smiths Station City Council meets at 6 p.m. Eastern Time on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Government Center, located at 2336 Panther Parkway (Lee Road 430).