Some Wesson residents get good budget news

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, September 18, 2001

WESSON — The final results of a county-wide property appraisalhas forced the board of aldermen to reverse their decision to raisethe town’s millage rate by 2.53 mills.

During a special called meeting Monday afternoon, board membersvoted to amend the budget to show the accurate property valuenumbers, which were just released, and do away with the millagerate increase that they approved last week.

“We actually came up with a better result than we had before,”Mayor Bill Tigner told the board. “It really did work in ourfavor.”

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The news was not all good for residents, though. The increase ofmore than 10 percent in property value will cause an increase inthe ad valorem tax.

Also, the board opted last week to increase water, sewage andgarbage fees, which have not been changed in over 12 years, becausea cash carry over made it unnecessary.

“Every previous year the cash carry over saved us, but it hasjust about run out,” Tigner said.

The water and sewage fees will increase eight percent and thegarbage rates will go up by 20 cents.

The board, with the exception of Robert Derrick, who was absent,approved a budget of $376,561 in projected revenue and $369,257 inplanned expenditures in general funds, Tigner said.

Tigner was confident the town will be able to remain “in theblack” during the 2001-2002 fiscal year.

“We’re going to be positive in all areas next year,” hesaid.

Board members also opted last week to give town employees a fivepercent raise to counteract a rise in the cost of livingexpenses.

The raise does not apply, however, to the board of alderman orthe mayor, they pointed out during a board meeting lastTuesday.

Other notable decisions included one to have three full-time andtwo part-time police officers in Wesson.

Before last week, the department had been short a full-timeofficer for seven months, according to Police Chief Jim Dykes.

Former Police Chief Steve Carlisle was hired to serve full-time,along with Dykes and Frank Coker.

The next board meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 9, ratherthan Oct. 2, because the majority will not be present for theregularly scheduled meeting.