The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


October 20, 2012

What a tax hike would buy

— Athens City Council members say too many needs and too little money prompted the proposed 1-cent sales tax increase that the council promises to approve Monday. City Finance Director Annette Barnes presented a list of those needs during a council work session Friday. The list includes both capital and operating needs from now through 2017. Here is the list:

Capital needs through 2017 — $18,328,585 over five years; $2,321,853 beyond

Police Department — $1,141,854 over five years

•  Police cars (six per year) — Total of $1,019,354 over five years

•  Cameras for security —$80,000

•  National Crime Information Center computer software — Total of $42,500 over five years 

Fire Department — $810,000 over five years; $700,000 beyond

• Engine/ladder truck —$750,000

• Vehicles —$60,000

• Additional fire station — $700,000 beyond five years

Cemetery, parks and recreation — $6.5 million over five years

• Four fields — $3 million

• Recreation Center —$3.5 million 

Sanitation — $2,505,285 over five years; $736,139 beyond

• Seven-year replacement plan for trash, garbage and recycling trucks plus other machinery — Total of $2,505,285 over five years; $736,139 beyond 

Street paving — $4,852,161 over five years

• Streets currently identified

Information technology — $305,000 over five years

• Replace 20 computers yearly, plus 10 laptops for police cars in 2013 — Total of $180,000 over five years

• Computer-server virtualization — $60,000 

• Document-management software plus yearly maintenance — $55,000 over five years

• Radio recording unit for police — $10,000

Athens water/sewer — $2,214,286 over five years; $885,714 beyond

• Replace/upgrade clay tile lines – 11 identified areas remaining; 10 areas unfunded.

Operating needs through 2017 — $1,755,312 over five years

Police Department

• Two new officers yearly — Total of $1,705,165 over five years

• Education materials for schools, churches — Total of $8,750 over five years

Fire Department

• Two new firefighters yearly — Total of $1,755,312 over five years

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