Leader Blues

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

TOP STORY>> Cabot to pay for fee study

IN SHORT: But the city councilís finance committee still doesnít know how to pay for a study that recommends putting levies on construction.

By JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

The finance committee of the Cabot City Council met briefly Monday even-ing to discuss paying for the second phase of an impact fee study that will eventually be used to determine how much to add to the cost of new homes and other construction to offset the cost the city incurs because of growth.

The impact study bill from Duncan Associates of Austin, Texas, was for $51,000. The city council voted last week to pay the bill, then called for the committee meeting to determine how.

Most of that money will have to come from the general fund.

The study has determined so far that wastewater, streets, parks and the fire department should benefit from any fee that the city approves.

So those departments are re-sponsible for paying for the study. But of that group, only the fire department has funds available to pay its part of the study, $7,460.

Wastewater, streets and parks, which owe $15,040, $15,550 and $9,950 respectively, donít have enough in the budget to pay the bill.
The committee also discussed the city budget to allow Peggy Moss, personnel director, to pay the members of the planning commission.

The 2005 budget includes enough to pay the commissioners $100 a month to cover their expenses.

But Alderman David Polantz, the committee chairman, said Moss lacks information to actually cut the checks, so they havenít been paid.

The committee discussed adding the commissionersí names and the amount they are to be paid to the budget as a remedy to Mossí problem, but city attorney Ken Williams advised against it saying the commissioners are not city employees and he didnít want to turn them into city employees.

ďCut them a check. Youíve already put them in the budget,Ē Williams said.

Finance director Dale Walker said he believed the problem is that the salaries are included in the budget as an operating expense and the solution is to move them to payroll. The quandary was left unresolved with the commissioners still not paid the $400 they are now owed. Walker said he would talk to Moss to determine what information she needs and the committee agreed to take the matter up when the full council meets.

The 2005 budget is the first to contain salaries for the members of the planning commission.