Aug 052011

By Teri Walker–

In a special session held Monday evening, the Holbrook City Council unanimously approved a $9,637,446 budget for fiscal year 2012.

The budget was tentatively approved in July, and no changes have been made to the document since that time. The budget reflects significant reductions in state funding, primarily in the area of Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF), which has resulted in the city using savings to address roadwork needs. The budget also includes, however, an estimated $488,000 in savings, which is being carried forward from 2011.

In conjunction with the budget session, the city held a truth in taxation hearing. The hearing wasn’t technically required, as the city will not be raising property tax rates, but the council chose to hold the hearing in the event there were questions from citizens regarding the tax rates as a new fiscal year commences. City Finance Director Randy Sullivan reported the current tax rate is $27.89 per $100,000 in assessed property valuation. While the tax rate hasn’t been reduced, he said residents would likely see lower tax bills in the coming year because property values have dropped in the area due to the economic downturn.

In other business, the council approved the expenditure of up to $3,676 to light the windsock at Holbrook Municipal Airport, to bring the fixture into compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. Mayor Jeff Hill and City Manager Ray Alley described in detail the options which had been explored to light the windsock at less expense, including installing solar lighting or tying the windsock into the existing runway lighting. They concluded the best, cheapest alternative is to contract with TLL Electric Inc., to accomplish the task. FAA requirements state that if a runway is lit, the airport windsock must be also.

The city council also approved spending up to $2,500 to have Freightliner repair a sanitation truck.

Finally, the council discussed a break in at the Hidden Cove Golf Course in Holbrook, which resulted in damage to various areas within the clubhouse. The Holbrook Police Department is investigating the case, and Mayor Jeff Hill said, “It’s disheartening that we work so hard to keep the course going for the community, and it only takes one person to ruin it.”

No damage was done to the golf course, although operations were shut down for two hours while police were on the scene. Some repairs to damaged areas within the clubhouse have been completed, and remaining repairs are near completion.