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Morning Sun
  • Girard mulls budget for major projects

  • Girard City Council members continued work on the 2013 budget during their regular session Monday night.



    Terri Harley, Girard Public Library director, was present with information on the library’s proposed budget for next year, which she estimates will be less than 2 percent over the $166,880 budget for the current year.

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  • Girard City Council members continued work on the 2013 budget during their regular session Monday night.
    Terri Harley, Girard Public Library director, was present with information on the library’s proposed budget for next year, which she estimates will be less than 2 percent over the $166,880 budget for the current year.
    “I can tell you now that we will spend everything,” Harley said. “We can’t carry money over, and if there is anything left, it goes into capital improvements.”
    She discussed two problems that she feels should be addressed.
    “There are cracks in the parking lot that need to be treated and sealed,” Harley said. “Also, we had put a new carpet in the big meeting room, and we wouldn’t do that again. It’s $350 every time we need to clean it. We’d like to have more of a hard surface in that room.”
    Also discussed were employee benefits and revenues and the capital improvements budget for 2013.
    One of the big items here is the KLINK project, which involves resurfacing all of K7 that runs from one end of Girard to the other. It had been budgeted at $300,000, but city administrator Gary Emry said the cost would probably be more like $700,000.
    “We’ll have to start doing some engineering soon, because we’ll have to be ready for it in the spring of 2013,” he said.
    Council members felt that downtown revitalization also rated a No. 1 priority, and this could also have a price tag around $700,000, though it was suggested that the electrical upgrades downtown might be carved out of this section of the budget and placed in the electrical department section.
    “I would like to see some engineering on what it would take us to move from square two,” said mayor Maurice Harley.
    He and council member Susan Thom suggested a figure of $50,000 to cover engineering expenses.
    “I also want us to look at sidewalks on St. John,” Thom said.
    Equipment needs for the various departments were also viewed, including the Girard City Cemetery, involving construction of an administration building and the acquisition of a new mower and a gator all-purpose vehicle; 10 sets of gear and training equipment for the Girard Fire Department; and equipment and the finishing of golf cart paths at Crawford Hills Golf Course.
    The cart paths are estimated at $75,000.
    “I’m extremely proud of being able to say that the Girard Sports Complex is done, and I’d like to be able to say that about the golf course,” Thom said.
    Emry also urged additional repairs at the swimming pool, which he said could extend the pool’s life by 15 to 20 years.
    “Otherwise, we’ll be looking at a new pool in 10 years,” he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Council members did not come to any firm decisions about the capital improvements budget.
    “I don’t want to do all that tonight,” Thom said. “I want to chew on it.”
    A special budget meeting was set up for 5:30 p.m. July 23.
    In other business, the council heard from Patty Anderson, caretaker at the Raymond Community Home, who said that repairs are needed on the decorative finials at the home.
    “The board of trustees has been wonderful about doing repairs, but I don’t want to use up their funds,” Anderson said. “I wonder if there would be any grants available.”
    “There are some we can look at, and I’ll have them at the next meeting,” said council member Melody Cherry.
    Council members also accepted, with gratitude for their years of service, the resignations of city employees Gerald Marshall and Ted Mitchell. A retirement luncheon in their honor is scheduled July 27.
    Scottie Thomas appeared briefly to thank everybody for their help during the fire that destroyed Scottie’s Bait and Tackle.
    “We lost everything, but we will rebuilt,” he said.
    “That business was a good addition to this town, and it will be again,” said council member Sharon Mattson.
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