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Council approves budget

Smith expected hospital land vote; not held

News Staff Writer

Atmore City Council members unanimously approved during their Tuesday, October 9, meeting a Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget that represents an increase of about 1.33 percent over last year’s funding package.
The meeting was held on Tuesday due to city offices being closed on Monday for Columbus Day.
“It’s basically like it was last year,” said Mayor Jim Staff prior to passage of the $11,603,900 budget.
City Clerk Becca Smith explained that the municipal monetary blueprint is prepared using projected revenues and applying any increase or decrease to the city’s various departments, agencies and other entities.
Subsidies and Appropriations again got the lion’s share of the funding, with anticipated spending of $2,895,250 (one-fourth). Atmore Police Department was right behind, with $2,780,300 (24 percent).
Streets and Sanitation ($1,513,700) and General Government ($1,456,000) each got roughly 13 percent of the budget, with Atmore Fire Department allocated roughly 11 percent ($1,312,900).
Buildings and Inspections received a 3 percent allocation of $316,900, while Parks and Recreation ($269,150), Atmore Public Library ($244,600), Municipal Court ($233,700), Cemeteries ($187,500) and the city landfill ($183,200) shared a 10 percent slice of the budgetary pie.
The remainder of the budget was apportioned to Beautification ($169,800) and Atmore Municipal Airport ($40,900).
In other action, the council:
* Approved the transfer of the ABC license previously held by In the Kitchen LLC, which operates as Gather Restaurant, to Chris McElhaney;
* Approved an application for continued funding from the Federal Aviation Administration for improvements to Atmore Municipal Airport.
No hospital vote
Just prior to adjournment, District 4’s Susan Smith asked the mayor if the council wasn’t going to vote on the donation of 10 acres of city land at Rivercane for the proposed new hospital.
“Are we going to vote on the hospital, since we’re all here?” Smith asked, to which Staff replied, “No; it’s not on the agenda.”
Smith later said that she and other council members had been told by the mayor that the council would vote on the matter at the Tuesday meeting.
Staff later said that the issue “needs to come up again in a workshop” before a council vote is taken.
“We need to run it through the workshop one more time before we vote on it, then bring it up at a meeting,” he said.