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Departments vie for city budget funds

By Staff
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's 2006 budget includes two new police vehicles, funding for outside agencies and pickup trucks for the park and recreation department. What it doesn't include are tasers for law enforcement, funding for the Wheeler Basin Library System or pavement at the softball field's parking lot.
Hartselle's City Council approved the more than $9 million budget at Tuesday's meeting. The city expects revenue of some $8.634 million and will use carryover revenues from this year to cover the shortfall. The budget also includes 2 percent Cost of Living Adjustments for all employees and 3 percent merit raises for eligible workers.
The budget includes $237,884 in capital outlay projects and an additional $289,141 in grant matches. The grants cover such projects as weather sirens, downtown renovations and new soccer fields.
The budget has been a lesson in making do with what the city has, according to Councilmember Mark Mizell.
"The key byword to government is compromise," he said. "I'd be the first one to admit it's (the budget) not all what I would want but it's our budget and I'm going to support it," he said.
Here is a look at the departmental expenditures:
Included in the administrative costs is $204,543 for non-governmental agencies. Morgan County Economic Develop- Development will receive $19,000, a $1,000 increase from last year; Hartselle Beautification will receive $42,500, a $7,445 increase from last year; and the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce will receive $28,200, up from $23,400 last year. Metropolitan Planning Organization will see a funding increase from $4,983 to $5,525. Alabama Mental Health, Morgan County Area Transportation, Community Action's senior companion, foster grandparent and Meals on Wheels programs, Depot Days, Terrell Industries and Parents and Children Together of Decatur all receive level or slightly increase funding.
The council also approved new appropriations including $10,000 for the Community Free Clinic, $5,000 for Hartselle Youth Alive, $7,500 for Hospice of the Valley, $1,000 for Junior Achievement and $1,800 for ARC of Morgan County.
The council eliminated some funding from last year's budget. It saw the biggest reduction in cutting $61,750 given last year to the Wheeler Basin Library System, a move prompted by the city dropping out of the county-wide system. Funding was also eliminated for Tennessee Valley Rehabilitation and the North Central Alabama Mental Retardation Association.