• 46°

Council passes record budget

The Troy City Council approved a $78 million budget Tuesday, the largest in the city’s history.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of growth in  a lot of different areas: manufacturing, industry and retail,” said Mayor Jason Reeves. “A great deal of that can be attributed to you as a council taking an aggressive stance on trying to grow our community. A lot of places are stagnant right now and the fact that we’re not is a credit to you. It’s an exciting time. Going into last year, we were in a position where we had done a lot and we were waiting on things to begin to pay off, so to speak. Those things are beginning to happen. This year should be even better than last year in regards to that type of growth.”

Part of that increase in revenue is a result in nearly $7 million in sales tax collected by the city, another record number. Reeves said those milestones are a good indication that the city is continuing to move in the right direction.

The budget also includes a 2 percent cost of living raise for all city employees and a 2.5 percent step-raise for all full-time employees that have not maxed out on the pay scale.

“We really appreciate the raise for our employees,” said Council President Marcus Paramore. “I’m glad we’re at a state in our economy that we’re able to afford that. Saying thank you is good, but being able to show it through extra compensation goes a long way.”

The budget includes the hiring of four additional police officers, expanding the force from 56 to 60. Reeves said the force will continue to grow as the city rises in population.

The budget includes approximately $1.2 million for resurfacing needs in the city as well as funding the various city agencies. Reeves said the city planned for more capital expenditures this year after running into issues in the current fiscal year purchasing certain department vehicles. The expenditures include grant money expected for renovations to Academy Street High School, although Reeves said more info is needed before the city can amend the budget for the actual costs.

The council continued its practice of providing incentives to new and expanding businesses Tuesday night, committing up to $160,000 toward work on the property of Alec Whaley Sr. and Alec Whaley Jr. at the new Troy Self Storage facility to complete Three Notch Loop. The service road already connects to Three Notch, running adjacent along U.S. Highway 231 to the Premier Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Bill Jackson Ford Dealerships. The new road addition will complete the loop behind the businesses back to Three Notch Street near Badcock Furniture.

“As we have over the past several years, we have aggressively courted business and expansion and incentivized, not only outside businesses, but made an effort to incentivize local expansion,” Reeves said. “This will help alleviate traffic on U.S. Highway 231 and that intersection, which the state is committed to putting $2 million into with new turn lanes and enhancements. We expect ot recoup this money through increased utility usage and sales taxes.”

The city also had the first reading of an ordinance to sell property south of Baker Metal Works for an expansion to that facility.

In other business, the council:

• Approved the purchase of nine Chevrolet Tahoes at $39,500 each for the Troy Police Department. The council also rejected a bid for six Ford vehicles at $42,000 each, electing to rebid to make those six vehicles Chevrolet Tahoes as well due to the difference in price

• Approved upgrades totaling $683,000 at the Park Street well to be paid by state funds.

• Approved the transfer of liquor licenses at The Red Apple and Flash Market for name changes

• Held a first reading of an ordinance to consider establishing an entertainment district in Downtown Troy for special events.

The council will meet again on Tuesday, October 8 at City Hall. The executive committee will meet upstairs at 4 p.m. and the council will convene downstairs at 5 p.m. Both ordinances read at this council meeting could be voted upon at that time.