Pioneer Village's financial situation continues to improve each budget

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By The Staff

PIONEER VILLAGE - Year by year, the impact of the May 1996 tornado looms a little less on the financial situation of the city of Pioneer Village.

As a result, the proposed 2009-10 budget for the city looks better than the year before.

The city expects to carry forward over $69,000 in the general fund and another $81,000 in the municipal aid road fund.

With the new revenue expected over the next 12 months, the city will have over $551,000 to spend in its general fund and another $128,000 in its road fund.

The largest revenue will come from property taxes at $360,400.

The largest expense for the city will be its police department at $346,859.

The city expects to pay another $34,639 on its tornado debt.

Mayor Gary Hatcher said the city has been able to refinance the debt incurred primarily for the debris removal due to the tornado a number of times.

The city solicited bids to refinance about $51,000. The five-year loan would remain with National City Bank.

The mayor hopes to pay the debt off early.

Auditor David Buchenberger said the only major concern remains to be the lack of segregation of duties when dealing with the city’s finances.

However, in his 2007-08 audit address, he said that is the same weakness of any small governmental agency.

For the most part, he said the city was doing an excellent job on its financial reporting.

The council approved the audit report.

In other business:

*Rumpke Sanitation officials said they would notify drivers about the concerns over trash blowing out of trucks on pickup days.

Hatcher said a letter was written and the response was that the company would notify its drivers.

*The city approved the second reading of a text amendment regulating above-ground storage of gasoline, diesel and propane.

However, the change proposed by the Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission would probably never play a factor in Pioneer Village, said Hatcher.

*The city accepted bids on a Toyota Camry and a S-10 Pickup truck. No bids were received on three other vehicles.

The city collected a combined $1,002 for the two vehicles.

*The city accepted a new contract with Harned Engineering for a maximum of $6,000 a year.

Engineer Jim Harned has been working with the northern Bullitt County cities for the past six years on the federally-mandated storm water plan.

*The council approved a resolution designating the police department officers as hazardous duty positions.

With the resolution, police officers would be part of the hazardous duty retirement program.

*City officials voiced concerns over the closure this summer of the Maryville pool due to the county’s inability to make repairs.

All four county pools could be forced to remain closed as they look to gain compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker legislation on pool safety.

Hatcher said the closing of the Maryville pool would spark a lot of phone calls because it is heavily used.

Magistrate Joe Laswell said it is a money issue for the county and the pools are a losing proposition already.

Councilman Robert Hester said that if the city operated the pool, it would have to be like a business and fees raised.

Hatcher agreed that the county couldn’t continue to throw money into a sinkhole. He said the mayors are to meet in a few weeks and the topic could be discussed once again.

The problem is that the short summer season also hurts revenue opportunities. The earliest the pools would open would be the first weekend after school lets out, which would have been this weekend. The pools would only be open nine weeks in a perfect summer as school is slated to open on Aug. 11.

The next meeting of the Pioneer Village City Council will be on Tuesday, June 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Becknell Hall. The public is invited to attend.