Lewisburg tightens its belt

Monday, January 14, 2019

Belt-tightening was in evidence at the Lewisburg City Councilís work session last Thursday.

Two items on the agenda were deferred after Mayor Jim Bingham suggested they be addressed in the spring when the city has a better handle on the current state of their finances.

One measure was a proposal to adjust the time frame for city employees to earn additional vacation time. Currently, employees earn three weeks vacation at eight years of service. The proposal would have moved the eligibility up to five years of service, as is more customary.

A proposal to update the restrooms at the Babe Ruth baseball field to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards was also shelved. The upgrade, estimated to cost between $15,000 and $20,000, would assist the city attract tournaments and therefore tourism, some of whom require ADA compliance.

The future of another project, the renovation of First Avenue from the square to at least Old Farmington Road if not farther, was also called into question.

Despite grant funding from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and years of discussion and planning, the question of whether the city wished to continue the project was raised by City Manager Randall Dunn.

Bids for the project came back higher than estimates and the city is currently waiting on a decision from TDOT on how to proceed, if, given the current situation, the city even wants to any longer.

The city was forced to issue Tax Anticipation notes, borrowing for the short-term on future tax revenues, in order to fund operations last month.

The city is working with the state Comptroller of the Treasury to demonstrate due diligence and a commitment to fix the issue moving forward.

The cityís monthly meeting is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m.