The Brandenburg City Council discussed ways to increase revenue during their regular meeting Monday (3/11) night.
Mayor Ronnie Joyner offered a suggestion to council members to increase the insurance license fee on insurance companies who do business in the city. The ordinance was first approved by city leaders in 1984 at a rate of five percent with no noted rate increases since it was adopted. Mayor Joyner explained to the city council the city funds would be level with no room to continue any improvement efforts unless some preventative action was made to ensure the city funds were maintained above the budgeted amounts. His concerns of increase costs of insurance and retirement payments along with cost of living would not support the current revenue streams. He stated that some general repairs and purchases such as police cars or equipment would not be able to be purchased, and noted the current city budget has no funding for any projects.
The Mayor proposed an increase to bring the fee ten percent which would double the current rate that insurance customers would have to pay on their policies.
Several council members voiced concern and objection to the proposed increase stating increase of double the amount would not be fair to residents and businesses in the city. According to the discussion, the city generates an estimated $271,000 into the general fund. The proposed increase would double the amount to and estimate $542,000 in the city’s general fund. Some council members asked where an appropriate limit to hold taxpayer funds in the city’s store general fund in addition to current certificates of deposit, which total an estimated $376,000.
After the discussion and a review of other fees collected in other surrounding cities, the council approved an fee increase to eight percent on a four to two vote. The council then heard and approved the first reading of the amending ordinance. Due to time constraints to submit the increase before the new budget begins on July 1st, the city council will have a Special Called meeting on Monday, March 18 at 5 pm to conduct the second reading of the ordinance and possible other business if needed.
In other business, Police Chief Brian Haag informed the council that Officer Billy Richardson had submitted his resignation letter effective March 26. Richardson is leaving the department for a position with Radcliff Police. He asked the council to consider the idea of impound lot to assist a revenue stream for the city. Council members asked him to get some comparison numbers of other cities to review. City Clerk Amy Haynes informed the council that a large item pickup is being organized but the dates have not been confirmed yet. Public work crews are in the process of cleaning mud and debris from the recent flooding in Riverfront Park.