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Stockdale council talks possible tax increase
PAT KOPECKI/Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com —
Stockdale City Secretary Thania Santos administers the oath of office to councilmen Scott Soden and Becky Adams, as Stockdale City Manager Banks Akin reviews his notes for the June 3 meeting.
Wilson County NewsJune 11, 2014 8,124 views 1 comment
According to Stockdale Mayor Ray Wolff, the Stockdale City Council might have to increase the effective tax rate for ad valorem taxes by 8 percent to meet the city’s needs. During the June 3 city council meeting, a financial dilemma unfolded as they prepared a budget to provide funding for the citizens’ safety as well as for projects the city has planned for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
Additional police protection, as well as funding for the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department, consumed most of the meeting.
Expenses continue to mount for law enforcement, with hours increased for the city marshal’s office from 16 hours a week to 40 hours.
Although the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office provides 24-7 coverage, a deputy is not solely patrolling Stockdale. Deputy City Marshal David Rice explained that a deputy is assigned to the Stockdale area, including Kosciusko, Pandora, and Denhawken.
Rice gave a report, encompassing a five-month period, in which his department made 322 contacts and issued 115 citations. Income from the citations amounted to $14,000. This money allowed the department to purchase a radar system and other technology.
The council approved a contract with NET SATA as a software provider. Rice explained this statewide system could aid in outstanding citations when the person tries to renew their license. The $4,800 up-front cost, plus a $5,000 annual maintenance fee, will be paid from fines issued through municipal court. This software will assist with the city marshal, code compliance, and animal control offices. Funding for this software will be provided from citations issued.
City Secretary Thania Santos said a part of each ticket paid is forwarded to the state.
Rice estimates that the council needs to budget $74,000 to cover the cost of having an officer 40 hours per week and also would pay for a municipal clerk.
Wolff said a property-tax increase may be needed, if the city proceeds with the 40-hour-a-week plan.
The council also heard from Stockdale Economic Development Corp. Administrator Johnny Stahl regarding signage for the Stockdale Industrial Park. Since the signage will be placed on city property, Stahl must return with a design for council approval.
In other business, Auditor Wayne Beyer gave the city’s 2012-13 audit report. Beyer gave a clean opinion. The council accepted the audit as presented.
The council also approved an application for a downtown improvement grant. See story, page 8A.
Also in attendance: Councilmen Sherry D. Lambeck, Scott Soden, Saul Bosquez, and Becky Adams; Fire Chief Edwin Baker, Stockdale Economic Development Corp. board member Roger Armstrong, and Shauna Cosper and Judy Langford of Langford Community Management Services.
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