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Council hears good news about finances

Staff writer

Peabody City Administrator Mac Manning convened two public hearings Monday evening before the regularly scheduled Peabody City Council meeting.

The hearings were called to amend the 2009 and 2010 budgets and allow for public comment concerning those amendments.

The amendment to the 2009 budget modifies the Special Streets and Alleys Fund from the budgeted amount of $121,000 to $181, 400 due to an increase in sales tax revenue caused by the 1-cent sales tax committed to the special street fund.

In order to use the funds, the budget must be altered and approved by the council members.

In the amendment, the 2010 budget was required to correct an error on a form used to report the 2010 budget for General Revenue and Expenditures. Correcting the form requires a public hearing and approval by the city council.

In Manning’s monthly report to council members later in the meeting, he noted that city expenditures were under budget in every fund.

“We will be very close by the end of the year,” he said. “But we are in much better shape than many communities.”

Revenue also is slightly above projected amounts in all accounts.

Council members agreed to look at the long-term street plan in January or February and meet with the city’s street contractor to begin developing a repair plan for the coming year.

Manning also reminded the council that the Union Pacific Railroad has begun crossing improvements on Eighth Street and soon will be closing the crossing at Seventh Street.

“The city will realize a $40,000 payment for that project,” Manning reported.

Plans are to use those funds and some street funds to make repairs on Plum Street.

In other business:

  • Sheri Hilger and Carla Dallas presented a preliminary health care package. Council members and employees will review the offering and make a decision at a future meeting.
  • Peabody Economic Development Director Shane Marler presented a Business Incentives Policy the committee had developed to help retain current businesses and attract new ones. Marler noted the city has never before had business incentives in place to help with economic development. The council approved adopting the policy.
  • Council members approved 2010 cereal malt beverage licenses for Peabody Bowling Alley and Peabody Market.
  • A 10-minute executive session was held to discuss non-elected personnel. No action was taken on return to open meeting.
  • Marler also reported on Peabody Main Street activities. A six-member resource team of national and state Main Street and preservation groups spent two days in Peabody last week to help create a blueprint for the future of the Peabody program. A final report will be presented after the first of the year.
  • Marler noted the Shopping Spree cards had gone into a second printing as customers shopped locally, filled their cards, and needed more. A new Web site will be up and running after the first of the year and a presentation will be ready for council approval Dec. 28 to determine a new high-speed Internet service.
  • Mayor Larry Larsen reported that he had not yet found a replacement for council member Jim Philpott.

Last modified Dec. 17, 2009

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