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Council concerned about city finances

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By CONNIE ESHThe Wilson Post

Lebanon City Council is worried about money and the lack of progress on the 2009-2010 budget.

In the regular called meeting presided over by Mayor Pro-tem Kevin Huddleston on Tuesday in the absence of Mayor Philip Craighead, Ward 3 Councilor William Farmer asked for assurance from Commissioner of Finance Russell Lee that council would not be seeing the same things in the proposed budget members saw last week.

Similar concerns were expressed by both Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler and Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath who wanted to be sure tax hikes, major pool repairs and cost of living raises would not be in the budget

Because of concerns about city finances, councilors noted, they voted to deny a request from Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Baines to buy two new pickup trucks for the city Gas Department.

“You have 12 trucks and 15 employees over there,” Buhler said, “can’t they ride two to a truck?”

Also missing the required four votes to pass was a request by Baines to buy a self-contained vacuum unit for the Gas Department. Warmath and Buhler voted against the purchase and Ward 5 Councilor Haywood Barry was absent, so the motion only received three votes and failed.

A final request from Baines to purchase a compact excavator also for the Gas Department failed to receive a second either to defer or to approve the request.

Initially Baines asked the council to defer, and Farmer made the motion, but no one would second. Then Warmath made a motion to approve, “to get it on the floor,” but again no other councilor would second.

Council approved on second reading an ordinance which would allow Joseph Storehouse to add storage space on to its existing food pantry without having to either build a sidewalk over sinkholes or pay a fee in lieu of the sidewalk.

The council also approved on second reading an ordinance to alter the Municipal designations concerning flood plains.

Council passed on second reading an ordinance to approve the bidding of a contract to survey for natural gas leaks, and an ordinance that would approve bids to work towards abandoning existing 16-inch cast iron water main.

Commissioner of Public Safety Billy Weeks received authorization to purchase Drug Trak software for the Lebanon Police Department.

Weeks was also authorized the purchase of 47, 9mm sub-rifles at a cost of $30,358.71, for the Lebanon Police Department.

Council also passed on first reading an ordinance to annex 9.3 acres on Palmer Road into the city and an ordinance that would zone the property RR (Rural Residential). RR zoning requires three acres per house.

Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at

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