Berlin council passes 2021 budget 

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The Berlin Town Council is seen at its meeting Monday night. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

Updated 10-24-20 at 9:42 p.m.

CORRECTION: The Tribune mistakenly identified the bid winner for bush hogging as Steve Farr. It is Steve Clark. We regret the error.

  • A bid from Steve Clark for bush hogging on Town property at $800 per cut. The Town bid the job, and Clark’s was the only bid.

BERLIN, Ala. – The Berlin Town Council on Monday evening passed its 2021 budget totaling $161,100. In keeping with Mayor Patrick Bates’ conservative policies of estimating low revenues and high expenses “just to be safe,” the budget falls far below 2020’s $256,000 budget.

Revenues

  • Sales Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $130,000.00
  • TVA Payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10,000.00
  • Beer Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $600.00
  • Manufactured Homes . . . . . . . . $900.00
  • Automotive Tags . . . . . . . . . . . .   $0.00
  • Natural Gas Franchise Fees . . . . $200.00
  • County Gas Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6,000.00
  • State Fuel Tax 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $2,400.00
  • State Fuel Tax 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $1,800.00
  • Rebuild Alabama fuel tax . . . . . $6,000.00
  • Capital Improvement Fund . . . . $4,000.00
  • Total Revenue ………………………..$161,900.00

 

Expenses

  • Town Clerk & Payroll Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . $26,000.00
  • Workers Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $300.00
  • Office Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,500.00
  • Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,500.00
  • Community Center Rent . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000.00
  • Electricity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,600.00
  • Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,200.00
  • Pest Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $1,000.00
  • Mowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $1,000.00
  • League of Municipalities . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500.00
  • Internet & Phone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4,000.00
  • Cell Phones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $800.00
  • Street Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,000.00  
  • Road Repaving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $80,000.00  
  • Road Mowing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,000.00
  • Road Patching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10,000.00
  • Organization dues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $400.00
  • Town Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,000.00
  • Legal fees . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,000.00
  • Email & Domain Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $300.00
  • Web Hosting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $0.00 
  • Travel & Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $5,000.00 
  • Grant matching funds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.00
  • Financial audit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,000.00
  • Total Expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $161,100.00

 

The budget reflects an $800 surplus.

Also in accordance with conservative budgeting, this year’s budget benefits from carryovers from last year’s budget including:

  • General Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $117,144.09
  • County Gas Tax . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $14,548.45
  • State Fuel Tax 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $6,426.77
  • State Fuel Tax 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,055.93
  • Rebuild Alabama . . . . . . . . . . . . $9,371.28
  • Capital Improvement Fund . . . . $730.60

 

Predicted total of surplus and carryover funds – $154,077.12

Other council business

The council approved:

  • An $18,000 donation of CARES Act funds to Welti, Fairview and Holly Pond Elementary Schools for COVID response at the three schools which Berlin’s children attend. See a separate story in The Tribune. 
  • A bid from Steve Clark for bush hogging on Town property at $800 per cut. The Town bid the job, and Clark’s was the only bid.
  • Cross drain replacement and other repairs at the intersections of County Roads 1619 and 1620 and County Roads 1625 and 1626, expected to cost approximately $2,000 each
  • A change of office hours until March 2021- Under the new schedule, town hall will be open Mondays through Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

 

Bates told the council that the Town has received a grant from the Alabama’s Mountains, Rivers and Valleys Resource Conservation and Development Council for accessibility projects including steps, a ramp and handicap parking spaces at town hall.

Bates also said that he would seek a grant from the Cullman County Community Development Commission to build a 30-by-100-foot shed at the farmers’ market. A previous effort to get a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission had to be abandoned when a change in policy prevented ARC from giving grants for farmers’ markets.

The Berlin Town Council will hold a special called meeting Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 to swear in the council and mayor for the new term. District Judge Rusty Turner will come to administer the officials’ oaths. The public is invited to attend, subject to COVID restrictions.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com