Lookout Mountain, Ga., General Fund Spending To Rise From $1.169 Million To $1.242 Million

Friday, May 19, 2017 - by Matthew Smisson
Preparing for the upcoming fiscal year, Lookout Mountain, Ga., Mayor David Bennett on Thursday night discussed the allocations of the city’s budget.  He said there are five funds that the city has under the laws of Georgia.  The first fund is the city’s general fund in which they oversee general operations and administration.  For the 2016/2017 fiscal year, Mayor Bennett announced that the city was on budget with revenues around $1.169 million and plans to increase the 2017/2018 budget to $1.
242 million to cover additional administrative costs such as rising insurance rates. 
 
Jimmy Campbell reported on the city’s second fund, water and sewer.  Mr. Campbell stated the city budgeted $699,000 in revenues for the 2016/2017 fiscal year and it is actually ahead by $25,000 to cover the cost of new grinder pumps needed for the city’s pump station.  Mayor Bennett proposed to the council members that they consider raising the city’s solid waste fund fees because it was $17,000 in the red for 2016/2017 fiscal year.  Mayor Bennett also said the city’s hotel and motel fund generated approximately $29,000 for this fiscal year.  Those funds are allocated for tourism according to state law. 
 
The final fund the city has is the SPLOST fund that is generated from sales tax revenues from Walker County.  Those funds are allocated to certain capital projects.  Mayor Bennett proposed to the council that some of these fund go to servicing some of the debt that will be incurred from the town center development in the future.  Mayor Bennett announced that a public hearing to discuss the budget will take place prior to the June council meeting at 5:00
 
Present from the city of Chattanooga was Ben Taylor to announce the upcoming road construction on Broad Street and the detours that will go in to affect the week of June 5.  Drainage pipes are being replaced that will force Broad Street traffic towards parts of St. Elmo and Cummings Highway to be redirected.  Alternate routes such as 40th Street and Alton Park Boulevard leading to Market Street have been recommended to alleviate some of the detours.  The city of Chattanooga is also working on some of the traffic lights that are in the St. Elmo and South Broad Street area to change timing to help efficiently flow traffic. 
 
Councilman Arch Willingham reported that the planning commission wants to hold a public hearing on the ordinance surrounding the usage of short term rental properties such as vacation or bed and breakfast usage.  As it stands it is currently against the ordinance to have a short term rental property within city limits.  The planning commission is considering allowing for short term rentals with an application process that includes the homeowner being on site at the property at all times including when the property is being utilized as a short-term rental.
 
Councilwoman Caroline Williams said Fairyland School with break for summer May 19.  She also reported that the school will be expanding to three second and third grade classes for the 2017/2018 school year.  Councilwoman Taylor Watson announced to the council that a master plan for landscaping Joe Wilson Park will be developed and paid for by grants.  Mrs. Watson stated that Jimmy Stewart and Kathleen Robinson will be assisting in the master plan because of their gardening expertise. 
 
The next scheduled meeting will take place Thursday, June 15, at 5:30 p.m. with a public hearing on the budget to begin at 5:00.


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