New Tazewell BMA approved first reading of ‘24-’25 budget

Published 3:44 pm Monday, May 20, 2024

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The New Tazewell Board of Mayor & Aldermen approved the first reading of the fiscal year 2024-25 budget during last week’s meeting.

The budget includes a $2 per hour increase in pay for workers at the city pool at an estimated total increase of $15,000, the purchase and equipping of a new Dodge Charger as a police cruiser at a cost of up to $45,000 and $25,000 in additional funding for the Tazewell-New Tazewell Fire Department.

During a discussion about the increase in pay for pool workers, Pool Manager/City Court Clerk Cynthia Chumley said the price for the pool to host a private party had been raised by $50 and the price for swim lessons had increased by $20 per child to help offset the cost of the raises.

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Alderman Alex Sorke added that the New Tazewell Pool was “the only show in town” with most surrounding counties not having a public pool.

“With the demand for services that the pool provides, I think we should (approve the raise),” he said.

Alderman Nita Louthan said having experienced life guards was important for the safety of those using the pool.

“We’ve got lifeguards who are certified,” Chumley said. “I know it’s a summer job, it’s a swimming pool job, but those kids do work hard they really do. . . We had more accidents last year than the year before and it was good to have trained people there.”

“And having them to come back, now they know what to expect,” Louthan added.

The pool is scheduled to open on Sunday.

Police Chief Ben Evans presented the board with several options for a new police cruiser. He explained that the cost for SUVs has increased to about $60,000 and that the Charger would be a better option as a pursuit vehicle.

The board voted to declare two older police vehicles as surplus property and include the cost of the new Charger in the budget. Proceeds from selling the surplus vehicles will be applied to the cost of the new vehicle.

Also approved was the purchase of ten new body cameras for the police officers to use. The estimated cost of $7,000 will come from the drug fund.

Evans also requested hiring two new road officers and the creation of an additional investigator position, but the board tabled a decision on that request.

They approved a motion to declare old computer equipment the police department had in storage as surplus property to be disposed of and gave Evans permission to have the old hard drives destroyed.

The board also tabled a measure to change the current building permit rate from a staggered rate based on the value of the property to a flat 25 cents per square foot rate. Codes Enforcement Officer Jerry Hooper was out of town and the board had a few questions they needed him to answer before approving the changes.