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Brewton council approves new budget

The Brewton City Council approved its budget for the current fiscal year — a few months late because of the change in administration in November.

The budget — the first to factor in likely higher sales tax revenue thanks to a 1-cent sales tax increase — is counting on $6,406,856 in revenue.

State law requires municipal budgets to be balanced.

In a previous meeting, city officials said any excess revenue would go to a reserve fund.

Included in the budget was a $16,100 allocation to the Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce, a significant increase over previous years.

In a workshop meeting with the council members before the regular meeting, Mayor Yank Lovelace emphasized that this money was a one-time allocation that may or may not be renewed.

“I told them not to have an expectation on this contract next year,” Lovelace said. “The chamber needs to be self-sustaining. We need to look at this as an exception. We might triple the amount next year, or it might go to zero.”

At its regular meeting, the council approved a contract with the chamber that states that in exchange for the extra funding the chamber will help lead several new activities and events for residents.

Also at the regular meeting:

• The council approved a meeting day change. Meetings, which had been held at 4:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, will move to 4:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. Any meeting that falls on a Monday holiday will be moved to Tuesday that week.

• The council approved a request from the D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital Relay for Life team to hold a fund-raising 5K run/walk on Saturday, March 16. The route will begin and end at Brewton Medical Center.