Demopolis government will cost taxpayers $7.1 million

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 24, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – The City council, in its last official meeting, unanimously approved a nearly $7.1 million budget, the largest in the city’s history.

Weighing in at $7,125,283.99, the city’s 2004/2005 budget is a 2.56 percent increase over the current year’s budget.

“It leaves a budget surplus of $1,726,” Mayor Austin Caldwell said of the last city budget he will develop as mayor. He moved for its passage, seconded by Councilman Woody Collins.

Neither Ronnie O’Neal nor Thomas Moore were present for the meeting.

General government operation will cost city taxpayers $1,289,195, nearly a 22 percent decrease over the 2003/2004 budget.

Compensation for the mayor and council members, travel, dues and subscriptions and the mayor’s contingency fund account for $84,007.64 of city expense and city hall expenses – including the salaries of the employees there – account for $157,701.88.

Other department costs are:

Beautification Department, $190,012.19;

Street Department, $908,820.31 including $118,000 of a requested $244,500 for capital expenditures for new equipment;

Industrial Development Board, $92,886.60;

Fire Department, $954,005.94;

Public Safety, $82,479.23;

Police Department, $1,481,842.95

Municipal Court, $137,663.97;

Airport, $104,500;

Library, $260,382.56;

Parks and Recreation, $688,624.95;

Jones Recreation Center, $41,271;

Civic Center, $42,050;

Restrooms, $7,050;

Bond payments, $602,082.70.

In other council business, a hearing on the condemnation of property belonging to Charles Jones was continued. Charles Jones Jr. is handling the property and could not attend the meeting, Jones Sr. said.

Council also passed resolutions declaring Charles Jones Sr. and Cecil Williamson duly elected; and abandoned an ally between West Decatur and West Jefferson Streets.

Bids were also received on the renovation of the 1843 Presbyterian Church/Fire Department building. The council had directed architect Brian Brooker to rebid the project earlier this summer after bids came back substanitally over budget.

“The bids were considerably less this time,” Brooker told the council.

The low bidder for the projectwas Bob Morrow Construction with a base price of $535,198.

Caldwell referred the matter to the council’s building committee for review and council took no action on the bids.