By Joseph McCain The Winston County Journal
In a special recessed meeting on Sept. 10, the Louisville Board Aldermen approved one mil increase on property in the city in order to help fund the library.
The one mil increase would be set aside directly for the library. The library will still make funding requests to the city and county since the one mil of taxes would cover less than a third of the library’s budget.
“This will hopefully establish the library to become self sufficient in the future,” said Mayor Will Hill.
In the 4 to 1 vote, alderwoman Judy McLeod thanked the board for supporting the library and the millage set aside.
“This (the library) is something near and dear to my heart and shows Louisville is thinking about the future of the community by supporting it,” said McLeod.
Alderman Richard Caperton who voted against the measure noted the importance of the library and his support for the library but did not feel a millage increase at this time was appropriate.
“I would be against any millage increase for the general government or the library with the unemployment rate at 13 percent in the county,” said Caperton.
For those living in Louisville City limits, the millage rate for the city is 19 mils for general government, 1 mill for cemetery maintenance and 1 mill for the library for a total of 21 mills. Most residents will see no increase in overall property taxes since the school’s millage dropped from 59.45 mills last year to 58.46 mills this year.
The board in the special called meeting also adopted the 2012-2013 budget along with a 3 percent pay increase for salaried employees. Firefighters and police officers pay raises will be handled in the Oct. 2 meeting. The police chief and fire chief will present plans to the board for restructuring and pay raises while staying within the budget.
While reviewing the budget, the aldermen discussed the cost of fuel and other items to keep an eye on for budgeting purposes.
In other business during the Sept. 10 meeting, the aldermen: • Approved collecting school taxes. • Approved agreement with county for collecting mobile home and motor vehicle taxes. In the regular scheduled September 4 meeting, the aldermen: • Recognized Chris Crowson upon his retirement after 30 years of service as a firefighter. • Discussed with Jean Harper of Winston County Self Help Cooperative about Food Corps representatives. See Food Corps article in this edition. • Approved purchasing At Home magazines for tourism purposes. • Approved Hazard mitigation plan program from FEMA and appointed Winston County EMA director as the point of contact for FEMA on the plan. The plan is a requirement to apply for any federal grants. According to King, it could cost the county about $2,000. • Approved GIS mapping contract with the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District. The work has begun. • Removed two properties from the unclean property list. • Requested more information on a tax property sale. • Approved advertising for a bid on city’s deposit. •Approve a waste management fee increase at the 1.41 rate or cost of living increase in the contract. The increase in cost will not be moved onto city residents. • Approved insurance payments and noted the change in premium dates to coincidence in the future with budget setting. • Approved the city monthly docket in the amount of $131,757.90. • Approved conference attendance for several city employees. • Approved adding one firefighter • Approved reimbursing the city for one bullet proof vest. • Discussed the rental property ordinance in the city and possible public hearing on the issue. • Approved revisions to the Promotions policy in the police department. The new policy creates the position of shift commander and changes some definitions of rank and ranking designations. The policy also requires testing to gain promotions in the department.
The next regular board meeting is Sept. 18.