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Third reading of FY 2015-16 county budget set for Thursday

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 4:50 pm

06-23-15 County Budget Reading 02LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — The Metropolitan Lynchburg Moore County Council will hold a Special Call meeting on Thursday, June 25 at the American Legion Building to here and vote on the third reading of the Metro Lynchburg Moore County Budget for Fiscal Year 2015-16.

The budget passed the second reading on Monday night via a roll call vote. There were 11 “yes” votes, while councilmen Denning Harder and David Boyce “passed” and Patrick Maynard was absent.

During the council’s May meeting Budget Committee Chairman Tommy Brown reported that the budget for the new fiscal year will be similar to last year’s budget. He reported to the council that there will not be a tax increase.

“(The budget) includes a three percent raise for part time and full time (county) employees, there is $300,000 for a fire truck, but that money won’t be available until after March 1 (2016),” said Brown. “We added a person for purchasing, finance and Obamacare. We added eight hours to the archives so they will be open two a week instead of one.

“There may be a few other small items, but I think that is pretty good without a tax increase.”

County employees were given a 3 percent raise last year also.

Nothing changed between May’s meeting and June’s meeting.

During the May council meeting, Harder (Dist. 1) made a motion to amend the proposed budget and add a 10 cent property tax increase, with the money going directly to Debt Services for school improvements.

Harder’s motion failed after receiving just four “yes” votes.

Harder made the motion again on Monday.

“We had some members (David Boyce and Coleman March) not here last time. I would like to place (again) my amendment to add 10 cents property tax to the Debt Service fund to go directly toward the school improvements,” said Harder. “That would be specifically ear-marked for the school.”

The amendment went to the council for a vote, but again fell short.

Parks Norman, Anthony Brandon, Gordon Millsaps, Shawn Adams, Wayne Hawkins, Arvis Bobo, Glenn Searcy, Tommy Brown, Coleman March and David Boyce voted against it, while Wayne Rhoton “passed.”

Harder, Marty Copeland and Amy Cashion voted “yes,” while Maynard was absent.

The Council then voted on the third reading of the budget. It passed with 11 “yes” votes. Boyce and Harder both “passed.”

One of the few differences from last year’s budget to the 2015-16 proposed budget is the amount of money allotted for Debt Service and Capital Projects.

The Budget Committee took 2 cents out of Capital Projects, making that 9.5 cents and put 2 cents into the County General fund. The county’s total tax rate will remain at $2.43 ($2.47 in urban services areas) per $100 of taxable property based on the most recent appraisal.

Monday’s public hearing — there was no public input — and passing of the third reading took less than five minutes. Approximately 18 people — less than one percent of Lynchburg’s population — attended the meeting.

—ROBERT HOLMAN, Publisher (mcnpub@lcs.net)

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