Local councils plan ahead

Published 4:19 pm Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Today marks the beginning of a new year, but there are just some things that won’t change this early.

Some years, Jan. 1 brings new ordinances or laws passed the year prior into effect, but locally, that’s not the case this year.

Troy, Brundidge, Goshen and even Pike County officials said nothing voted on last year will take effect Jan. 1, though each have several things on their agendas in the new year in general.

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In Troy, City Council President Johnny Witherington said road resurfacing and infrastructure will be among the top of the council’s agenda in the start of the new year.

“We’re hopeful we might be able to resurface some streets within the city,” Witherington said.

With a proposed economic stimulus from President-Elect Barack Obama, the city is hopeful they may receive funds for street resurfacing and water and sewer improvements.

“The mayor has made contact to begin looking at preliminary prices so if any money becomes available we might could address those projects,” Witherington said.

Also in the year, Witherington said he has hopes the Miracle Field Project will be closer to completion in the coming year.

“We hope this year the miracle field might become a reality,” Witherington said. “We’re supporting that effort.”

But in all this, Witherington said the city will be conservative in its spending efforts.

“Right now the city has got to be very careful to be good stewards of our existing revenue dollars,” Witherington said. “We’ve got to tighten our belts and be good managers of our existing sources.”

Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas said he isn’t sure what all the council has on their plates, but he is certain the library renovations and the transload project are still on the 2009 agenda.

Also, the council has approved an increase in garbage fees that will take effect in February and utility fees may be on the rise, though nothing has been approved.

In their budget planning last October, the council mentioned PowerSouth, the city’s power supplier, may increase their rates to the city, and the council could decide to pass that amount on to the residents.

Thomas said he isn’t sure how much of an increase that would be yet, if any.

In Goshen, Mayor Jack Waller said the biggest thing on its agenda in the new year will be the purchase of a generator for the town in case of a natural disaster.

They also may repeal a 1 percent sales tax that was placed on private automotive sales, since it is higher than sales tax in Brundidge and Troy.

The Goshen council has all but two new members, so they may have many more new items to bring to the table.

Pike County Commission Chairman Robin Sullivan said up in the foreseeable future is the implementation of an ambulance board in Pike County.

“It’s something that’s going to happen fairly soon in the new year,” Sullivan said. “We need to carefully decide who’s going to be on that board and make sure it’s people in the health care field who deal with emergency situations.”

Sullivan said another big project will be the resurfacing of Henderson Highway, which he said will begin once the weather becomes warmer for good.

The Brundidge City Council will meet Tuesday, Jan. 6 for their first meeting of the year. Troy Council will meet Tuesday, Jan. 13. The Pike County Commission will meet Monday, Jan. 12, and Goshen City Council will meet Thursday, Jan. 8.