Tifton Gazette

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June 30, 2014

City Council approves budget, debates gun issue


The city approved the resolution for adoption of the FY 2015 budget at Thursday's City Council called meeting.

City Manager Larry Riner presented the budget at June's City Council meeting. At that time, he had informed the council that in accordance with Georgia law and the city charter, the FY 2015 proposed budget was balanced, totaling $43.4 million for all funds. He noted there was an adjustment. They did not get the $500,000 grant for the 20th Street project. That has brought the budget down to $42.9 million for all funds, which is balanced.

In addition, Riner commented on the CityNet debt.

"We have retired almost $4 million of that CityNet debt already, and in SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) V, we're on track to retire the remaining $2.1 million and some change by March of 2015," he said.

The council unanimously approved the budget as presented. They unanimously approved the ordinance providing for amendment to the city's retirement plan as well.

Also, prior to the called meeting, a workshop was held where city attorney Rob Wilmot addressed the new gun law that will be going into effect today and how it applies to public buildings.

"Basically, a gun can be carried into a governmental building, except if it's in a  courthouse or if you have security personnel at the door checking the building," he said.

He said as it stands right now, the building where the council holds their meetings (inside the Municipal Courtroom) would be considered a courthouse. Guns would be prohibited from that building. However, guns would be allowed inside City Hall on Ridge Avenue unless they took some measures to have security at the door to prohibit guns inside the building.

Upon moving back into the Myon, Wilmot said they would not have to secure the building all day. If they wanted to prohibit guns from City Council meetings, they could start their security at 5 p.m. In order to prohibit guns from being inside the building all day, security would be needed throughout the day.

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