The City of Chatsworth braces for a budget hit, telling departments it could affect personnel. The decrease in tax revenues has departments maintaining last year’s budget numbers.
“We’re expecting a $20,000 loss,” Mayor KW Gong said. “They didn’t vote for a tax increase.”
Councilman Fred Welch said they are asking all departments to maintain last year’s budget and encouraged departments to be frugal, even if they have the money in their coiffeurs.
“We’re operating at a deficit at least until we can renegotiate our share of the sales tax later,” he said. “If our revenues don’t increase, we will have to cut personnel.”
The proposed budget
The Chatsworth City Council held the first reading for the 2021 fiscal year budget.
The proposed revenues are $5,012,797.
The following is the anticipated expenditures for each department and capital purchases and improvement.
- Administration: $435,151.13
- Building Inspection: $90,367.69
- Fire Department: $1,003,022.36
- Health and Sanitation: $142,468.84
- Parks: $15,000
- Police Department: $1,743,261.48
- Street Department: $1,091,369.75
- Zoning and Code Enforcement: $92,155.95
- Capital purchase/improvements: $400,000
Water Works budget
The Chatsworth Water Works Commission was reviewed at Monday’s meeting.
The CWWC estimated total revenues at $9,499, 150, not including net income from Operations which is expected to be $1,053,085. Total expenses for CWWC is estimated to be $8,446,065.
Alcohol sales and distribution
The Chatsworth City Council was asked to meet with Police Chief Josh Etheridge to discuss what measures, if any, they want to take on services delivering alcohol.
A little attended election on November 3 at City Hall showed 74 city residents approved Sunday sales between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. while 30 opposed it.
“We have 2,500 eligible voters in the city,” Gong said. “Only 104 turned out for this.”
The polls were not held at the recreation center like the general elections but were at City Hall.
The state passed a law allowing Sunday sales but each municipality must pass their own resolution.
City Attorney, Steve Williams, told the council there was an issue they needed to talk and decide what, if any, action was needed.
“With more stores delivering groceries and alcohol, we need to look at ordinances on how to handle that. There are more issues than you realize,” he said.
The City of Chatsworth does not have a distilled spirit sales, but as more stores are offering home delivery of groceries, the city may want to consider how to handle delivered alcohol.
One thing to consider is underage purchases.
“It’s typically up to the driver to check IDs of those purchasing when they deliver,” he said. “You can control a 20-year-old going to a store to buy beer, but how do you do that if it’s delivered?”
Complicating the matter is out of county stores, like Kroger, are now delivering to Chatsworth and soon, Ingles, which is in Murray County, will deliver, too.
“Do we want to control delivery of alcohol?” he said.
He encouraged the city council to meet with Chatsworth Police Chief Josh Etheridge
In other city council news
- Approved installing a four-way stop sign at Duvall Road and Industrial Boulevard.
- Approved the first reading of a sign ordinance for large billboards.
- Approved the petition by Paul A. and Denise Parker to close a portion of Elm Street lying between the west right of way of Pemotoma Way and the east right of way of Tenth Avenue.