Jasper City Council, On Tuesday, OK'd $19.26 Million Budget
During Tuesday's regularly scheduled meeting of the Jasper City Council, the council unanimously approved a fiscal year revenue budget of nearly $19.26 million dollars.
City clerk Kathy Chambless reported to the Council that the city is expected to have a remaining funds balance of approximately $429,700 when the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. This came as good news to Council members who heard from Chambless at a Sept. 16 Council work session that the city was expected to be $356,233 in the red by the end of fiscal year 2011.
According to Chambless, most of that expected red ink is due to the sales tax decrease caused by the downward slide of city revenue. Chambless said revenue from sales tax was down 4.75 percent from last year.
However, the city has been able to make up for these losses by decreasing its costs through a reduction in its workforce and other means. Chambless says that general fund revenues have decreased by $370,000 from last year.
Officials have trimmed several departments' budgets since September when city officials held a work session to discuss the upcoming budget. Councilor Johnny Rollins says the most significant reductions came from the city's parks and recreation, street and sanitation departments. Rollins said that about $200,000 was cut from the original fiscal year budget.
Chambless said several other departments are also making sacrifices in order to save money for the city.
Council president Gary Cowen said the city is in better shape financially than many other municipalities that are "looking at huge holes." Cowen also pointed out that the Jasper officials also began reviewing the city's finances more frequently when it began to be affected by the economy.
In other business at Tuesday's meeting, the Council:
*Granted approval of a retail beer and wine for off-premise consumption alcohol license for Ramzan Jiwani and Navrooazli S. Ladhani doing business as RJ's No. 1, located at 1206 Highway 69 South.
*Agreed to renew the contract with Hanson Pipe to provide concrete pipe for an additional 12 months.
*Adopted a resolution to enter into a contract for $1,000 with the Heritage Day Committee to promote Jasper during the Heritage Day Activities on Oct. 16. Mayor Sonny Posey said the city will help with cleaning up after the event.
*Set the cost for five recent nuisance abatements. Despite being notified by certified mail regarding the public hearing being held Tuesday on the matter, none of the property owners made their presence known at the meeting.
*Heard from James Hood who expressed concern about the unkempt appearance of the city's District 5. Hood said, "It's like that's the city's dump." Hood asked if the city could have a cleanup day. Sandi Sudduth, the councilor for District 5, said her church is planning a cleanup day soon and is seeking volunteers.
Town Of Parrish Set To Begin Beautification Award Program
Recently, Parrish Town Council member Cedric Ramsey introduced the Town of Parrish Beautification Award program to further help promote a positive, community image for the town.
According to Ramsey, the Town of Parrish Community Beautification Award was developed to recognize the efforts of residents, churches and businesses that improve overall appearance of the community through the enhancement of their property and every homeowner, church, and business is invited and encouraged to participate.
Fall competition for the award began on Oct. 1 and concludes on Thursday, Oct. 7, with the mayor and the town council awarding the winners a proclamation at the Parrish Town Council meeting on Oct. 12.
The award will be judged on basic overall appearance, maintenance, creativity and design/color coordination and will be awarded to first-place, second-place and third-place winners. Categories include residential, commercial and church/school competitions.
Beautification is often thought of as a key aspect of community development and an easy way to bring the citizens of that community together. Towns and cities frequently embark on beautification projects to refurbish their downtown areas and historic districts, as well a way to boost tourism and other commerce. Also, award recipients serve as an example for the entire Town of Parrish community and help to enhance our town image.
Beth Holloway, Mother Of The Missing Natalee Holloway, Is Scheduled To Speak
At An Upcoming Jasper Business and Professional Women's
Beth Holloway, the mother of missing Mountain Brook teen Natalee Holloway, is scheduled to be guest speaker for the Jasper Business and Professional Women's Organization awards banquet that is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 19. Tickets for the event, which will be held at the CHS Building in downtown Jasper, are $40.
Club vice president Evelyn Jackson says she expects Holloway's message to appeal to children as well as parents and guardians. The message is entitled "A Life of Hope,"
Natalee Holloway disappeared during a graduation trip to Aruba in 2005. Beth Holloway has written a book, "Loving Natalee," about her search for her daughter. Holloway's experiences in the aftermath of her daughter's disappearance have established a template that others can follow to prevent similar occurrences.
Jasper Business and Professional Women's Organization, founded in 1928, is the oldest women's organization in Jasper. It is currently the second largest Business and Professional Women's Organization in Alabama. In addition to being a social and professional network for local businesswomen, the club also provides scholarships to local female high school students who are pursuing higher education.
County Democrats Have Open A Facility That Will Serve As The
Party's Election Headquarters In Jasper
Area Democrats have opened their headquarters for the upcoming general election.
The Walker County Democratic Party has moved into a vacant suite in the shopping center off U.S. 78 near Honda of Jasper and Cabo San Lucas Mexican Restaurant.
Dewey Abbott, the organizer of the Democratic headquarters said the headquarters will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Abbott said volunteers will be on hand each day to register citizens to vote. The facility will also have a variety of signs and bumper stickers for local and statewide Democratic candidates.
Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey said he thought the spot was a good choice for the headquarters.
Abbott said anyone interested in becoming a member of the party or needing more information can call 205-471-9504.