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City Council votes to not raise millage rate after cutting $58,000 from budget
by Debbie Lurie-Smith
Oct 11, 2008 | 2089 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gray’s City Council set its tentative millage rate at Monday’s meeting without a tax increase for city residents.

Mayor Pro Tem and city finance chairman Loretta Lipsey made the motion at the Oct. 6 meeting to keep Gray’s millage rate at 9.75. Council members agreed unanimously and set the tentative rate.

Lipsey said the city will realize an increase in revenues because of an increase in the city’s tax digest. That increase requires public hearings and advertisement of the increase even though the millage rate did not change. She said the actual rate will be set at a called meeting Nov. 5.

The council followed the lead of Jones County commissioners and the Board of Education members who all kept tax rates at their current levels.

Council members discussed the city’s tax rate at a called meeting Sept. 29 and slashed $58,000 from the proposed budget expenses to keep from raising taxes.

Other agenda items included approving a $625 contribution toward matching funds for a Tourism Co-Op Grant and $500 to the Boys and Girls Club of Jones County.

Council also voted to authorize Mayor Jason Briley to execute contracts with Tommy L. Griffin Plumbing for improvements to Gray’s wastewater treatment plant and to repair a yard on Amanda Drive that was damaged by the city.

Tommy Carson, president of The Pines Homeowners Association, asked council members to repair the roads in the city’s portion of the subdivision. Carson said the association has tried before but was told no funds were available.

“The roads are getting bad, and Shortleaf is down to one lane. The county has fixed their part,” he stated.

Carson said the roads are a danger to the community, and a tremendous number of city and county residents will be traveling through the subdivision on Halloween.

“We are not asking for all the roads to be paved, but there are three or four holes that are in need of major repair,” he said.

Councilman David Tufts, chairman of the city streets committee, said money is in the budget for street repairsm and the city has been trying to find a contractor to do the work.

Tufts made the motion and council voted to follow up on the repairs.

Three Planning and Zoning requests were on the city’s agenda. Councilmen voted to rezone 13.4 acres located at 4009 Gray Highway, the residence of Anne Lusk, from RR county to RA1 city.

The request of Brett Jackson to rezone property located at the corner of Arnold Road and Office Park Drive from C-2 to R-3 to allow construction of two duplexes was approved, and the council also approved the preliminary plat for Big Creek Preserve Phase 2.

A three percent cost of living raise was approved for city employees, and councilmen also approved the Jaycees Christmas Parade Dec. 9. The parade will return to its original route this year beginning at Ingles Supermarket’s parking lot and traveling up Gray Highway, ending at Railroad Street.

City Superintendent Decius Aaron said a water transmission line is being run on Stewart Avenue to enhance pressure in the area, and councilmen accepted a bid from Gray Builders for repairs to the city’s fire station.

Tufts asked if the city had a noise ordinance and asked for it to be enforced on Dolly Street. He said cars with loud radios are disturbing churches in the area and residents at Gray Nursing Home.

Gray Police Chief Adam Lowe said the code is enforceable.

Tufts also said he is receiving complaints about junk cars and would like to look into how to enforce the city’s ordinance.
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