Agencies pitch budget needs

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Brookhaven Board of Aldermen had several special guestsTuesday night, invited to make their pitches as to why theirorganizations should be appropriated money from the city in the2009-10 budget.

Representatives from the Brookhaven Lincoln County Chamber ofCommerce, King’s Daughters Medical Center, and theLincoln-Lawrence-Franklin County Regional Library came to themeeting to update the board on their projects throughout the yearas well as ask for their yearly allowance.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Cliff Brumfieldsaid the chamber has been able to bring in enough money throughprojects and sponsorships to provide even more services to thecommunity without having to ask for more than last year’sappropriation of $72,000.

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“We’ll be able to fully develop programs with the same amount wereceived for 2009,” he said.

Brumfield told the board his employees will not receive a raisethis year. Aldermen had expressed concern in previous meetings thatif city workers might not get a raise, they did not want toappropriate money to other organizations that might use it towardraises for their own employees.

KDMC Emergency Medical Services Director Mark Lambert told theboard that KDMC needs their appropriation, which was $45,000 lastyear, because growing volume demands that the hospital look atpurchasing two new ambulances, as well as a possible relocation forthe EMS office, which their staff has outgrown.

Lambert said he didn’t have immediate figures on the number ofruns the ambulance service makes per year, but that they made 408runs in the city and the county in August.

Library Director Henry Ledet said the Lincoln County PublicLibrary has seen an increase in usage as the economy hasdipped.

“On the average we had 245 people per day two years ago,” hesaid. “That was up to 260 last year and 290 a day this year, cominginto the library.”

Ledet said the bulk of the people using the 27 computers onlibrary property are using it for good reasons.

“These people aren’t just using it for celebrity gossip,” hesaid. “They’re looking for jobs, taking online classes, buildingresumes. There are people who are playing, but more than that thereis a lot of work being done.”

Aldermen took no action on the agencies’ budget request atTuesday’s meeting.

In other business, city employee work efforts got the officials’attention. The board discussed the fact that Brookhaven is anat-will employer.

Mayor Les Bumgarner said employees using city equipment and timeto goof off or hide from their supervisors will not be toleratedanymore.

“We don’t need to play hide and seek with these employees, andwe shouldn’t have to figure out where they are,” Bumgarner said.”When someone’s not where they need to be when they need to bethere, that’s a serious offense.”

Bumgarner said if there are employees who don’t want to do theirduties, their jobs can be given to people who will be glad to dothem right.

“We want the ones who will work the same when the departmenthead is there and when the department head is gone,” he said. “Idon’t mean to be cruel, but it’s a job, and some people don’t treatit like one.”