Holton budget approved

Karen Reynolds
Contributing Writer

The Holton Town Council met January 13 at the Holton Community Center where they approved the budget.

Unanimous approval was given to accept the appropriation and fund transfers that were approved at the year-end meeting. Resolution 2011-01 to approve these transfers was adopted, as required by the State Board of Accounts. According to the 2011 budget order from the Department of Local Government Finance, the town of Holton was instructed to make the following budget reductions:

• General Fund (-$4,551.14)

• Motor Vehicle Fund (-$6,456.20)

• Local Roads and Streets (-$4,645.00)

• Cumulative Capital Improvement Fund (CCI) (-$1,806.00)

These cuts were approved unanimously. The following reflects the new 2011 budget items and the amounts that fall within those guidelines:

General Fund - total budgeted allowances for this fund are $115,095.00. Breaking it down further, the following items are in these amounts: office supplies, $900; gas/oil, $4,500; tires/tubes, $600; other garage, $1,000; postage, $300; mileage, $150; telephone, $1,900; insurance, $8,500; improvements other than buildings, $500; election costs, $250; and stationary/advertising, $883.86.

Motor Vehicle Fund (MVF) total will be no more than $20,023.20 with the following item breakdown: tile/culvert, $2,093.80; roads/ditches, $6,200; equipment, $3,100.
Local Roads and Streets (LRS) fund will be no more than $2,597 with the following item breakdown: cement/stone, $900; roads/ditches, $1,162; and equipment, $535.

Cumulative Capital Improvement (CCI) fund will be no more than $3,246 with the following items breakdown: buildings $1,440; and machinery/equipment, $1,854.
In other news, unanimous approval was given for clerk/treasurer Gretchen Moore to have training with Keystone on the town’s computer software. This will cost $720 per day plus $120 an hour for travel time round trip. Based on the distance between the office of the training provider and Holton, charges are estimated to be $1200-$1300 for one day of training for all office staff.

Under information items:

• A proposed amendment to the current sewer ordinances would allow homeowners to request service to their property be deemed inactive. Homeowners would have to verify that water service to the property has been disconnected and the home is unoccupied. If these conditions are met, the account would then be labeled inactive and the minimum monthly charge would be waived. The current ordinance reads that nobody may receive free service and if the above conditions are met, no services are actually being received. The issue was tabled until such time as a written ordinance can be presented for consideration.

• Discussion was given to the need to have a written policy in place on employee personal time. Currently, employees earn four hours of personal time a week. This includes sick time, vacation time, and holidays. There is no limit on how much personal time is allowed to accrue. Attorney John Ertel expressed concern that there is not a cap on personal time. He was concerned that should an employee quit with an abundance of time accrued, the town would not be able to pay out a large amount at one time. The board made a decision to continue to allow employees to earn four hours personal time weekly within a limit of 120 hours. Should an employee reach this limit, that employee must use some of his personal time to reduce his total hours of time accrued. While the issue was tabled until further notice, it was decided that an ordinance will be composed to establish these regulations on employee personal time.

• President Paul Hughes brought up the issue of a riverboat ordinance that has not been established since the present town council took office. A copy of the Town of Osgood’s riverboat ordinance was reviewed. Attorney Ertel felt that a similar one would be adequate for Holton. An ordinance will be written and submitted at a later time.

• Wilbur Myers reported that he attended the county chamber meeting and they have a new president, Matt McNew.

• Marshal Bob Curl reported that Crossman Fire has completed the annual inspection of the town’s fire extinguishers. He also reminded the board that the town will be due for hydrostatic testing at the end of 2011, which will be more expensive.

• Clerk Moore questioned that status of the gravel for the new maintenance building. No quotes have been received yet. She will check with Roger Miller to see if he would be interested.

Attending the meeting were Paul Hughes, Angela Farrell, Gretchen Moore, deputy clerk Cathie Stratton and town attorney, John Ertel. The next regular business meeting will be held on February 10 at 7 p.m. in the Holton Community Center.