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Ole Brook passes $13.4M budget

Brookhaven aldermen passed a $13.4 million budget Thursday night in a meeting that lasted just six minutes including the opening prayer.

The budget for Fiscal Year 2019 includes expenses of $13.34 million, which leaves a projected balance at the end of the year of $63,293. It passed 4-0 with no discussion. Ward 2 Alderman Shannon Moore and Ward 3 Alderwoman Mary Wilson were absent from the meeting. Ward 4 Alderman Jason Snider recused himself from the vote. He is an employee of King’s Daughter Medical Center, which receives an appropriation from the city.

Moore and Wilson were also absent from the public hearing held an hour prior to the board meeting. Snider recused himself from that as well so he would not hear any discussion, but since no one from the public attended, Mayor Joe Cox adjourned the meeting after 15 minutes.

The Water and Sewer Department and Solid Waste operate under separate budgets, said City Clerk Samantha Melancon.

With nearly $3.29 million in revenues and nearly $3.27 million in expenses, Melancon expects that department to finish FY 2019 with $18,600 in the bank.

The Solid Waste Department is starting FY 2019 with nearly $2.2 million in revenues and $2.14 in expenses. That leaves a cash balance of $54,400 at the end of the year.

Aldermen approved a $.50 monthly increase on water rates and a $.50 increase on sewer rates.

The city held several lengthy public work sessions to hash out details of the budget.

In other business Thursday, aldermen approved the hiring of Jarish Harris in the Street Department at $11 an hour.