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East Brewton approves new budget

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
The East Brewton City Council approved a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year that shows the city operating on revenues under $1 million.
According to budget documents, city officials expect to take in about $936,000 during the 2002-03 fiscal year. Among the largest sources of revenue for the city will be garbage collection at $286,727. Sales tax is the second largest source of revenue, bringing in about $264,000. After that, there is a sharp decline with the third highest source of revenue being about $105,000 from business licenses.
East Brewton Mayor Terry Clark asked for over a half million in spending for administrative expenses. Those expenses include the salaries for the mayor, council members and the building inspector. It also includes $63,000 for employee insurance and $37,000 for payroll tax expenses.
Other expenditures filed under administration include: $55,500 for landfill operations, $49,000 for utilities, $56,301 for retirement and $39,500 for trust account payments. There is also a total of $61,855 to pay back two separate debt services.
The budget calls for $172,700 in spending for public safety and the street and sanitation department. The majority of that money will go to pay salaries that are anticipated at $116,000.
Public safety and the police department will receive a total of $156,662 for spending over the next year. Salaries are expected to cost about $117,600. There is also $9,000 budgeted for a police car.
The fire department will receive funding in the amount of $105,613. The department will pay $23,313 for payment of a fire truck. The largest expense will be $74,000 for salaries.
Other items discussed by the council include:
The federal government will provide East Brewton with $68,472 for the purchase of equipment and upgrades. The city will have to pay a 10 percent match which Clark said would be paid through cigarette tax money.
A letter from U.S. Representative Sonny Callahan informed the mayor that East Brewton was approved for the grant.
Among the items that were approved for purchase with the grant were: an air compressor; ventillation fan; 23 complete sets of turnout gear which will include helmets, coats, pants, boots, hoods and gloves; airpacks with integrated PASS devices; PASS devices for existing airpacks; videos and reference texts for training and renovations of a training facility which is the station's truck bay.
The PASS devices are designed to help firefighters find each other while fighting fires. They are especially useful in the case of a firefighter becoming trapped or injured.
The renovations will include insulating the truck bay of the fire department and installing electric doors.
The city's portion of the bill will be $7,608.
Fire Cheif Joey Shell said obtaining the grant was a big success for East Brewton.
Shell said East Brewton Building Inspector Lawton Shipp wrote the grant and deserved congratulations for his efforts;
Mayor Terry Clark said the city was still talking with Riverview officials regarding a fee increase to provide fire protection. A deadline has already passed, but Clark said they were still trying to work with them.
If Riverview does not agree to pay the higher fee, East Brewton will be downgraded to a second responder with Dixonville Volunteer Department being first responder;
He said his machines are licensed by the state and that the business does not include bingo. He also said he owns "Fun Station U.S.A." in Pensacola.