(MITCHELL) - The Mitchell City Council was presented with copies of the 2014 budget during the council meeting Monday night.
Clerk Treasurer George James says the budget for 2014 is $2,480,558 - up by $79,816 from last year.
James says the increase is because of an 18 percent hike in health insurance costs. Even after trimming the budget in other areas, James says, the city will spend around $75,000 to carry insurance for employees.
In other business:
* Perry Reynolds told the council his grandson attends Burris Elementary School and he was concerned after a school official told him that it was school policy that children attending Burris were not allowed to ride their bikes or to walk to and from school.
Reynolds told the council that was a shame since the city had participated in the Safe Routes To School which funded sidewalks for the kids to walk to school.
"We spent the money on the sidewalks and we ought to be able to utilize them," Reynolds says.
Mayor Pruett told Reynolds it was a school issue.
"I would check with Mr. Dorsett (the school principal) and he may come up with a resolution," Pruett added.
* Eric Frey, executive director of Administrative Resources association, presented the council with the annual transit grant application resolution.
The resolution is required by the Indiana Department of Transportation and gives Mayor Pruett the authority to sign grants issued to the city.
Frey says there will be $42,278 in federal and $14,672 in state grants available to the city.
* Clerk Treasurer George James requested the council's approval to add Doc Hamilton Boulevard into the city's street inventory. James says that had not been done and to receive state tax dollars for the 1.7 mile boulevard the council had to approve adding the street to the road inventory.
"It has to be noted in the minutes that the city council accepted it as a roadway and will maintain it," James added.
* Mitchell resident Steve Speaks asked the council about the fluoride in the city's water because he was concerned about health issues related to fluoride in drinking water.
Mayor Pruett told Speaks the city uses well water and there was no fluoride in the water. But he would double check that information with Utilities Director Tyler Duncan and get back with Speaks.
* Councilwoman Vicky Schlegel told the council she has received several complaints of residents burning leaves, brush and tree stumps.
"We have a burn ordinance in place, but I don't think it is being communicated very well on what can and cannot be burned," Schlegel added.
* Marla Jones of the Lawrence County Growth Council introduced Kim Allen as the new assistant director. Allen will replace Jones who is now heading up the Lawrence County Stellar Committee.
* The September city council meeting will be held on September 9th instead of the Labor Day. And the October 9th meeting will be headed by Council President Vicky Schlegel because Mayor Pruett will be out of town attending meetings in Indianapolis.
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