The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 12, 2013

Carthage council advances budget

By Susan Redden
news@joplinglobe.com

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A proposed budget that sets Carthage’s general fund spending at nearly $8 million for the upcoming fiscal year was advanced by the City Council on Tuesday.

Final action will come June 25 on the spending plan that was recommended by the city staff and the council’s budget committee. The city’s budget year starts July 1.

The $8 million general fund budget represents a 2 percent decrease in spending from the current year. No increases in staff or city employee pay are proposed. City personnel costs are projected to grow, because of rate increases for health insurance, workers’ compensation and contributions to employee pension programs.

The council also approved on first reading, as part of the budget, ordinances authorizing contracts with organizations receiving city funds next year. The recipients: Carthage Chamber of Commerce, which provides economic development services, $119,720; Carthage Convention and Visitors Bureau, $89,000; Over-60 Center, $20,000; Carthage Humane Society, $30,000; and Carthage Public Library, $62,196, plus $45,000 to be used as matching funds for grants for book and periodical purchases.

New charges at the Carthage Golf Course will go into effect in the new budget year, including a fee increase of about $2 per round.

The council gave final approval to an agreement with the Peachtree Village Community Improvement District under which the district would reimburse the city for costs of traffic signals planned for Fir Road and Hazel Street.

Tom Short, city administrator, called the action “the first step” toward the project, which is to be done in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Transportation. In addition to the traffic signals, the work will include widening Fir Road to three lanes from the intersection east to the Interstate 49 overpass.

In other business, the council approved the sale of two mowers that had been declared surplus property, and approved an agreement with Lonnie Osborne to mow at Myers Park.



Appointments

THE CARTHAGE COUNCIL on Tuesday approved Mayor Mike Harris’ appointments of Jerry Spry to the Affordable Housing Task Force, and Charlie Slate to the Building Board of Appeals.