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City Commission to discuss shelter funding

June 19th, 2013 8:54 pm by Gary B. Gray

City Commission to discuss shelter funding

City commissioners tonight are expected to discuss a recommendation made by Commissioner Clayton Stout on June 6 that would make Johnson City the major financial contributor to the new Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter.

During discussion of the 2014 fiscal budget, Stout put forward a plan that would utilize a more than $680,000 debt service reduction that currently is planned to be put back in the general fund. Stout suggested using about $160,000 from the savings to help pay the interest — which currently is at an all-time low — on a $2 million bond issued by the city to help get the animal shelter project moving. 

Stout said the action would help construct a new shelter which is in the process of being located off North Roan Street. If Stout’s plan is successful, development could take place at their current location and at surrounding areas near a new access road to be built as well as across North State of Franklin Road at Innovation Park.

Commissioners Jeff Banyas and David Tomita were not in attendance during the last meeting, but the full commission is expected to return to the issue tonight when officials review a second reading of the 2014 budget.

Stout said he thought his recommendation was “the best plan we’ve had so far,” and that it could get moving in five to six months. 

“I’ve even had people tell me they would get more involved because there is a plan — P.L.A.N.,” he said.

The city’s proposed FY 2014 budget is balanced at just more than $208 million, a decrease of about $1.9 million over the current year. The city portion of the budget is about $134 million, a decrease of $3.9 million.

The school system’s portion totals about $74.1 million, a $2.1 million increase — an increase due primarily to salary changes, technology for online testing and capital costs.

No property tax increase has been recommended.

Meanwhile, commissioners will hear a first reading of an ordinance to amend city code that would change provisions for parking vehicles, non-motorized equipment and the storage of property on city streets.

The city’s Traffic, Police, Planning and Legal departments worked together to draft the ordinance which would restrict parking vehicles weighing more than 8,000 pounds and 20 feet in length. These vehicles would not be allowed to be parked or unattended on any public street for more than two hours at a time, except when the vehicle is being used in connection to work.

The new ordinance also would make it unlawful for people to park non-motorized vehicles or equipment, such as campers, boats, trailers, or other recreational-type vehicles for more than eight consecutive hours. It also would make it illegal to use a public street or public right-of-way to store any item, except where otherwise lawful. 

Violators of any of these provisions would have their vehicle or property towed or removed and face a $50 fine for each violation.

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