Residents ask city council for money, help
By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Aug. 20, 2003
Lamar McDonald wants more money to fight efforts to close the Naval Air Station Meridian, Steve Corey wants the city to clean and repair ditches and Don Adler wants to know why his water bill will rise.
The three residents were among a small group of people who attended a public hearing Tuesday on the city's proposed $85 million spending plan for the next fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.
Meridian City Council members took no action on the budget after the hearing. Council members are expected to give final approval of the spending plan during their Sept. 2 meeting.
The proposed budget would give city employees a 2.5 percent pay raise. Although the budget would increase water rates 10 percent, it would not raise city property taxes.
McDonald requested $25,000 from the city to help the Navy Meridian Team fight possible efforts to close NAS Meridian in a base closure round scheduled in 2005. The proposed budget does not specifically earmark money for Navy Meridian Team.
Corey told the council he'd like to see Meridian spend more on city services.
Mayor John Robert Smith told Corey the city has proposed to spend $163,700 next year to repair sanitary water lines, $113,700 more than was budgeted for that type of work a year ago.
Smith said that might fix Corey's problems if they involve a city-owned sanitary sewer line.
Corey countered, saying, "It's a concrete-lined ditch. It was lined by somebody and I don't believe it was the developer. They rarely do that themselves."
Adler told the council he was not happy with another water rate increase one year after rates jumped 10 percent.
The mayor said that the rate increase was needed for the water and sewer department to continue meeting federal guidelines and bond requirements.