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New council will decide budget

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's newly elected city council will have to hit the ground running after they are sworn in Oct. 4.
Hartselle's City Council had planned a work session to deal with budget requests for Aug. 30. Those plans changed, however, when all incumbents except one were voted out of office in last week's municipal elections. Only one councilman – Dick Carter – survived to make it to a runoff. He faces Bill Drake on Sept. 14.
According to City Clerk Rita Lee, the current council will pass an operating budget, but the new requests will be left up to the council.
And those requests could be tricky. Included in the appropriations yet to be decided are requests from the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce and other outside agencies. Several members of the current council had questioned the funding of some agencies, especially in light of lack of funds for other city projects.
Now, those decisions will be made by the new group. After being sworn in, the new council will have the ability to draft its own budget, one that will have to address such controversial topics as spending $189,000 in city money to construct new hangars at the airport. The council can also opt to fund some or all of the city's capital improvement plan. The $30 million CIP plan was passed in March, but there has been no money to implement the plans.
The question of allocating resources remains. Currently, Hartselle has some $4.7 million in reserves but city leaders have been reluctant to spend that money.

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