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City approves budget

By Michael Butler

The City of Tallassee has approved its budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year. In addition to funding city departments, some funds were provided for local groups. Some agencies were cut out altogether.

The total budget will be approximately $10.5 million.

The city will continue to give $20,000 to the Chamber of Commerce. It will also assist the Mount Vernon Theatre with $4,000 annually.

"David Stough didn't want to give the theater any money. His argument was that they need to be self sufficient," Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock stated. "This has an economic impact on the city. People come in to town and shop, get gas and eat."

Revenues from last year are up according to Hammock.

"Remember we sold the guest house. We did a deal for some antennas on the downtown water tank. We had over $400,000 there. We're taking that money and doing needed infrastructure. We're going to start with the Tallaweka (water) tank blasting inside and out and painting it. We going to do some more gas line repairs. We're going to replace another filter at the water filter plant."

The city will also be upgrading its system of monitoring the water filter plant.

"We want to get away from guys going around 365 days a year to see if it's still working," the mayor added. "It's actually something that will pay for itself. "

As for cuts to the budget...

"We didn't cut any departments. We did cut is the Talisi Historical Society, the Friends of Tuckabatchee, Elmore County Economic Development Authority (ECEDA) and the Industrial Development Board (IDB).

We're not giving any money to ECEDA. We gave them $8,000 last year. They're getting zero this time. The IDB is self sufficient. When I first came in they were giving them $75,000 a year. They've got over a million dollars in the bank, so they're good right now."

Hammock noted that work at the sewer lagoon will be underway within the next year.

"It blows my mind how it takes three or four years to seeing work done. There will be a lot going on. We've got things going in the right direction."