Huntingdon’s new budget provides funds for upgrades

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shirleyNANNEY

Editor

Huntingdon’s new budget of $58.3 million will continue to build infrastructure and lay the ground work to secure the needs of future generations. The prior year’s tax rate of $1.2487 is in place for the current fiscal year.

“By working together, we have accomplished many upgrades for our town, including street and sidewalk improvements, additional park facilities and renovation of existing parks, water and sewer extensions and upgrades, improvements to the downtown and business districts, lowering the ISO rating that reduces the cost of property insurance within the city limits” said Vice Mayor Nina Smothers, who is now mayor. The town continues to provide excellent police and fire protection for our hometown.”

The town’s most valuable assets are the town’s employees which will receive a 30 cents per hour raise and the continuation of employee benefits including $8,850 per employee for insurance premiums and funding the employees’ health savings account and life insurance coverage for the employees in the amount of $50,000 each.

Capital purchases include the purchase of a pumper truck for the Fire Department and two tandem dump trucks for Public Works through a capital outlay note and seventeen vehicles for various departments, including the Police Department.

The Utility Fund budget includes several capital projects including the completion of the Emergency Sewer Repairs on Gin Street, East Main Street water line replacement and automatic meter readers funded through the State Revolving Fund, and installation of a sewer pump station in the 1,000 Acre Lake area.

The new budget allows for consideration of the equipment needs for the town.

Concerning the transfer to the Carroll County Watershed Authority, the Watershed Authority has $19,000 in wheel tax funds remaining from  CY22 second quarter. A transfer from the town in the amount of $32,000 may be required, if the appropriated funds are not received from the state by the debt payment due on Aug. 25. However, the funds were received..

The balance remaining on The Dixie debt is $460,000 which is to be retired in four years.

There are two costly projects involving lagoon equipment replacement to be completed.

One is the Barnett Street Lagoon that will costs $250,000 without blowers and $800,000 with blowers installation, and engineering. The estimated cost for the Hwy. 22 lagoon equipment is $1,200,000.

The American Rescue Plan funds and TDEC Water Infrastructure Investment Plan grant funding  have been discussed. Huntingdon’s allocation is $1,249,471.59. A local contribution of $88,947.16 is required in order for the town to participate. The town must apply for it and funds are required to be used for utilities.

Smothers attended a recent seminar pertaining to the County Master Plan which will assist with future grant funding. Grant applications are due October for writing a plan.

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