City approves budgets, game, alcohol licenses

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By Blenda Copeland

The Phenix City Council approved the city’s Fiscal Year 2018-’19 budgets Tuesday for both the city’s General Fund and its separate Utility budget.

Included in the budget, among other items, are previously reported raises for City Manager Wallace Hunter and other employees, as well as appropriations to local nonprofits/agencies/organizations.

In other highlights at Tuesday’s meeting, the council also approved authorizations for the mayor and city manager to enter agreements:

• with Tuskegee University for the 5th annual Whitewater Classic Football Game at Garrett-Harrison Stadium v. Albany State on Sept. 8 ($100,000, as reported at Monday’s work session by city Parks and Rec Director Todd Hughes)

• with Retail Strategies LLC, a nationwide company, for professional consulting services in recruiting retail here (amount not to exceed $50,000)

• the second reading of on-premise beer and on-premise whiskey/wine licenses submitted by James G. Dyer III for the new T-Bones Steakhouse restaurant in Ladonia

Also, the council voted to table any discussion or action on four claims listed under the City Attorney’s portion of the agenda. Due to rare circumstances, the city had no lawyer present on its behalf to review the items: City Attorney Jimmy Graham was on Monday reported to be in court; and a back-up representative from law firm McKoon & Gamble was unable to attend due to a death in his family.

According to the city’s approved June 28 budget work session minutes, the council decided on the following, final appropriation amounts to various agencies:

Alabama Cooperative Extension: $2,700

CVCC Foundation: $4,500

Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame Inc.: $1,800

Crisis Center of Russell County: $9,000

Doris C. Weaver Girls Club of Phenix City Inc.: $13,500

East Alabama Chamber of Commerce: $35,000

East Alabama Humane Society: $900

East Alabama Mental Health Center: $10,800

East Alabama Services for the Elderly: $5,400

Lee-Russell Council of Governments – Operations: $144,500

Lee-Russell Council of Governments – PEX: $150,000

Phenix City Schools (PCBOE): $200,000

Phenix City Tree Commission: $2,250

Planting Seeds: $4,500

Project Greene Light: $4,500

Russell County Department of Human Resources: $6,300

Russell County Drug Court: $16,200

Russell County Emergency Management Agency: $18,000

Russell County Historical Commission: $2,250

Russell County Juvenile Probation Office: $33,215

Russell County Soil & Water Conservation District: $4,500

TEARS Inc.: $6,300

Wiregrass RC&D: $1,350

Keep Phenix City Beautiful Board: $900 – must appear and make request – contingency budget

Miss Phenix City Scholarship Pageant: $900 – must appear and make request – contingency budget

Phenix City American Red Cross: $3,600 – must appear and make request – contingency budget

Phenix City Sports and Events Commission: $180 – must appear and make request – contingency budget

Russell County Child Advocacy Center: $4,500 – must appear and make request – contingency budget

WorkForce Development: $8,500 – Contingency budget

Children & Family Connection of Russell County: $0

Communities of Transformation: $0

Knowledge Works Learning Academy Inc.: $0

Liberty Learning Foundation: $0

Phenix City Housing Authority: $50,000 Contingency budget amount

Survivors4Survivors Inc.: $0

Habitat for Humanity of Russell County: $0

Phenix City Art Council Inc.: $0

Russell County Health Department: $0