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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Smyrna Council discusses possible change to budget reserve

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  • Smyrna Town Council members discussed an ordinance at the Sept. 3 meeting that could bring changes, if approved, to town's budget reserve.
    Councilman Robert Johnson said there's a problem with the existing Rainy Day Fund in that it doesn't belong anywhere. He said the budget reserve is supposed to appear in the general fund statement but it doesn't. Johnson said the auditor say this is incorrect and needs to be changed.
    "The Rainy Day Fund needs to be put in the general fund," Johnson said. "This ordinance replaces the Rainy Day Fund and put it's in the general fund where it belongs."
    Johnson said there's still $3 million in the Rainy Day Fund. He just wants to move it so it can be seen in the general fund and will appear as a restricted investment.
    Masten said she spoke with Gary Stulir, the town's Manager of Accounting & Business Services, and he supports the request.
    Hugg said council didn't need to take a vote at that time because council was just looking at an edited version of the request; town lawyers will put the information in ordinance form prior to the next council meeting.
    Councilwoman Valerie White expressed some concern moving the Rainy Day Fund commenting that it was being moved so the town could spend it. She said the point of the fund is so the town has money in case of an emergency.
    "That's supposed to be rainy day money and I don't want this to affect how that money is spent," White said.
    Johnson said the change is just so it can be seen and controlled in the budget.
    "Actually one part in here recommends taking 10 percent from the budget every year and putting it into the Rainy Day Fund to build it up," Johnson said. "So whatever the budget is, we'll take 10 percent of that and increase it [Rainy Day Fund] every year."
    Fixed monument still not ready
    Mayor Joanne Masten provided a brief update on the monument that was knocked over at George C. Wright Jr. Municipal Park memorial.
    Masten said the earliest the fixed monument will be shipped is mid-October according to the company that manufactured it.
    State Police troop realignments
    Police Chief Wil Bordley informed council of the realignment of Delaware State Police coverage in the state. He said Troop 9 jurisdiction will be redistricted below New Castle Country to Dennys Road so virtually the coverage area will include everything from Odessa to Dennys Road.
    "So Troop 3 won't be handling calls in those areas," Bordley said.
    Page 2 of 2 - He said he'll be meeting with DSP regarding the change and how the change will affect Smyrna.
    Duck Creek impact fees
    Town Manager Dave Hugg said there was a meeting between himself, Councilman Jeff Flairty, Councilman Robert Johnson and the town lawyers regarding impact and connection fees related to utilities north of Duck Creek.
    Proposals regarding the impact and connection fees will be brought to council, Hugg said.
    Masten wants update on vacant property
    Masten said she'd like an update regarding a previously vacant property on Smyrna/Clayton Boulevard.
    Earlier this year council approved the demolition of 431-437 Smyrna Clayton Blvd.; after the fact, local business owner Michael Sparco, of Ducts Unlimited, expressed his interest to purchase the property and rehabilitate it. Sparco went on to purchase the property but Masten is concerned with the progress of work done to the exterior of the building.
    "Mr. Sparco has made tremendous efforts to get both the smaller and bigger building cleaned out," Masten said. "It's been fourth months since he was here and I think it would be advantageous for Mr. Sparco to come to council and update us on his plans with the exterior of the building."
    Masten said she doesn't want the town to go through another winter without exterior work done to the property and have the town be in the same position next year. She asked for an update from Mr. Sparco to be added to the agenda for the Sept. 16 council meeting.
    Partial road closure approved for Sheridan's event
    Council approved a request to close a portion of North Market Street for outdoor entertainment for the Halfway to St. Patrick's Day Celebration from Sheridan's Irish Pub for Saturday, Sept. 14.
    Bid approved for Duck Creek Pump Station
    Council approved a bid for the pump station that will go north of Duck Creek.
    Teal Construction came in as the lowest bidder at roughly $668,000, which is three percent less than the town engineer's expected cost of $686,000.
    "Teal is a well established firm for us. We've used them before," Hugg said. "I have no concern with them being the low bidder."
    The pump station will be north of Duck Creek adjacent to Duck Creek True Value. Hugg said it's designed in a way to expand to serve the whole area in the future so it'll be a regional facility.
    Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com.
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