Meeting added for city’s budget

Apr. 23, 2013 @ 06:45 PM

Henderson City Council members asked the city manager to keep the budget process on its intended timeline and scheduled an additional meeting in the event it is delayed during Monday’s regular session.

May 13 is the date set for a draft. Ray Griffin, the city manager, said unexpected time out of the office for illness and handling an extra workload for staff in the next three weeks is likely to delay meeting that deadline.

The council responded with an intent to accommodate, yet still stay on track. A May 20 meeting was added, with work sessions scheduled for May 23, 28 and 30. Work sessions are also scheduled, but could be cancelled if not needed, for June 3, 4 and 6.

Griffin had wanted a delay of about two weeks to get the draft budget done in time for a special called session of the council that he proposed for May 30.

A date for public hearing on the budget is not yet scheduled. Griffin has proposed June 10.

“There is just no way that we can have this completed in time for May 13,” he said.

The May 20 council meeting would be a special called session set specifically for presenting the budget. The May 27 regular session, falling on Memorial Day, has been cancelled.

All of the city’s spending priorities are decided for the year during the fiscal year budget process, with individual citizen input scheduled to take place during the public hearing.

The council is first to see the administrative draft budget in the form of a recommendation to council, then work sessions on spending priorities follow. The deadline for finalizing the city budget is the last day in June, with the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The council approved on Monday a recommended plan for the demolition of 207 W. Andrews Ave., which Corey Williams, the city’s code compliance director, said is not opposed by the property’s owner.

Williams said owner Matthew L. Russell has asked about demolition costs, and whether he can get the work done more cheaply himself.

“His overall goal is to demolish it before we can demolish it,” Williams said. “He is wondering how much it would cost.”

Tenants at a house next door have been complaining to their landlord about vermin and snakes that pose a problem to them near the abandoned structure. The owner of the home informed Williams that several tenants have moved because of the problem, so the blight has an impact on their ability to rent the next-door location.

The proposal for demolition included photographs including noted signs of frequent use by vagrants.

Because of a backlog of household demolitions, it is not expected that demolition would take place at 207 W. Andrews Ave. for months to come, according to Williams, but it would be on the list when funds become available.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.