With Mayor Ron Casey absent, Mayor Pro-Tem Louise Howell called the Oct. 14 meeting to order.
“The first order of business is a proposal to apply for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant,” Howell said. “Have y’all looked at that?”
“This thing calls for a matching grant,” council member Harold Posey said. “But we have already overspent the General Fund by more than $24,000 as of the July audit. The proposal says the grant is to be used to acquire and facilitate recreation facilities and that would be a welcome addition, but the only way we could match the grant is by using SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) money.”
Questions that arose at the September meeting concerning the city’s financial stability continued to linger.
Posey asked if the matching money for the grant was coming from the 2014 budget and was told it was coming from the 2013 budget.
“But there is no 2013 budget,” Posey protested. “You are speaking about the 2014 budget, aren’t you? This year is just about over. We need a 2013 budget but it seems like we need to place a priority on the 2014 budget.”
“But you have to have a 2013 budget,” someone in the audience called out. “The city charter requires that you produce a budget every year.”
Posey noted that with no budget for either year, “we’re going to get ripped by the auditors.”
Howell said the city didn’t currently have a 2013 budget but should have one by the end of the week.
The proposal was tabled until the next meeting.
In other business, council:
• recommended the maintenence department hang the downtown Christmas lights and wreaths on Nov. 1 and encouraged volunteers to help with other decorations including a small tree in the park.
• canceled a closed session because only the mayor knew what the session was about.
Kingston City Council will meet next at city hall on Monday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m.