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June 19, 2014

First reading of London budget approved

LONDON — The London City Council held a special meeting Wednesday to go over the first reading of the city’s 2014-2015 budget.

Council members had been given the budget earlier in the month and were scheduled to have the first reading on June 3. However, the council felt they were not prepared for the reading and asked for extended time to look over the budget.

Since then London City Mayor Troy Rudder said he has not received any requests to amend the budget.

However, during Wednesday’s meeting Council member Dan Phelps asked for a special motion to establish a contingency fund by the end of the next fiscal year.

“I just want us to seriously consider establishing an emergency fund. It’s something that’s been bothering me. I think we need a contingency fund to back us up in the future,” Phelps said.

A motion and second was made to establish the fund within the next year.

Rudder was confident though that the budget was properly designed to fund any such emergency for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

“I think we will generate more funds than expected - especially on recycling,” Rudder said. “Every time we reduce a ton of garbage we save $31.”

Rudder then spoke to the urgency of getting the new garbage trucks in order to save money. The increasing cost for maintenance on the trucks is a concern for Rudder.

“This is money that we are literally throwing away,” Rudder said. “(The new garbage trucks) will change everything.”

With that being said the council began the first reading of the budget by London City Clerk Carolyn Adams.

Phelps proposed a motion to accept the reading of the budget and Judson Weaver seconded the motion to approve the budget as read.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, London City Police Interim Chief Derek House asked the council for permission to create a list of items that the police department would like to auction off.

House explained that the department has obtained various items over the years that they would like to place up for auction to generate revenue for his department and for the city. The items that House is requesting to auction off has either been forfeited from previous cases or is old equipment from the department.

“We have approximately 14 cars that has been forfeited in court after an arrest,” House said. “We also have portable radios that we no longer use because we are on a different frequency now.”

The items that have been forfeited to the department through court would be auctioned off with funds going toward the London City Police Department. Items such as the old portable radios would be auctioned off and the funds will be transferred back to the city of London since they were originally purchased with taxpayer money.

“It may take us two to three weeks to inventory (the items),” House said. It is important that the items being auctioned off for the department are not confused with the items being auctioned off for the city, House explained. Since it is a meticulous process, no date for the auction has yet been set.

The department is looking to use one of the forfeited vehicles for police work. All other items will go through an online auction.

“We will use a method to get the highest dollar for each item,” Rudder told the council.

The next City Council meeting will be Friday at 2 p.m. for the second reading of the budget.

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