Despite concerns voiced by citizens, the Ila City Council recently approved the proposed 2011 budget, which includes a three-percent pay increase for the mayor and council as well as the city employees.
In the final public hearing for the proposed budget, held on Sept. 6 prior to the regular council meeting, resident Wanda Fitzpatrick addressed the council. She said she felt the economy is in a bad shape and that it is a bad time to ask for salary increases. Another resident, Jerry Duval also spoke out in opposition to the budget increase included in the proposed budget.
Duval said he would like to see the three percent spent on improving the water quality in the city, and provided a sample of discolored water from his outside water spigot.
During the council meeting the council unanimously approved the proposed 2011 budget. In the 2011 budget there are no tax increases or water rate increase noted and the total cost of the three percent increase to salaries totals $903.
The raise is the first pay increase for the council, clerk and mayor in two years. The pay increase for the mayor would is $45, the council members will receive $33.75 and the clerk will receive $720. The current yearly income is $1,500 for the mayor, $1,125 for each council member and $24,000 for the city clerk.
In response to the concerns about the water quality the council stated that the automatic flush valve installed on Crawford Street will hopefully clear the water as it will be set to flush for two intervals of 20 minutes each month. Engineer Chris Quigley further addressed the water issue, stating that the city is working on getting the new well operational and once it is working, and the other water improvements have been completed, the water quality should improve.
The next flushing of the water system is scheduled for the end of November. Along with the flushing the fire department will be opening and testing each fire hydrant as part of the effort to lower the cities Insurance Service Organization (ISO) rating. The ISO rating is used in the establishing of insurance rates.
In other business the city council approved increasing the bid from Payday Recycling by $12,000 for the cost of removing the old water tower. The additional costs stems from Georgia Power’s cost of relocating a power pole while the tank is disassembled. The total cost of the project is now $39,760.
The county commissioners and the industrial authority are seeking input in a potential regional sewer system and looking for funding from the USDA Rural development program. Council member Nathaniel Hobbs made a motion which was approved to not have the city get on board with a regional sewer system as the upfront cost of an environmental study ($5,000) and the required land usage could not be met by the city.
Mayor Mike Coile reported to the council that he has been meeting with the other municipality mayors and county commissioner chairman Anthony Dove about the Regional Transportation Roundtable. Colbert mayor Chris Peck will serve with Dove on the roundtable. Information is available at city hall about the state House Bill 277 which is why the roundtable is convening.
According to the state website - www.legis.state.ga.us. HB 277 is to create the Georgia 2020 Transportation Trust Fund Oversight Committee and to provide for allocation of funds for projects from the trust fund and to implement the additional one percent special transportation sales and use tax.
The full summary of the bill can be found at http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/sum/hb277.htm
elected officials can not give themselves raises without first running for office again. If they voted for a raise it would not go into effect until an election. Some could get the raise before others if their seat was up. If they accept the money it is illegal