South Jax trustees approve budget, vehicle

By Ryne Turke on June 16, 2016 at 9:38pm

It took a few extra weeks, but a budget is in place for the Village of South Jacksonville.

During the June 2nd meeting, trustees voted 5-1 in favor of removing the 2016-2017 budget and nine other items from the agenda. Trustees ironed out some of the problems they had during the special meeting and committee sessions Thursday night.

According to South Jacksonville Treasurer Tiffanee Peters, an additional three percent will be appropriated in the budget, in case the village goes over-budget.

With the budget approved, trustees were able to officially vote on the purchase of three village vehicles.

After weeks of controversy, trustees agreed to ratify and approve the payment of a 2014 Dodge Charger for the police department. Based on the trustees recommendation, the squad car will be paid for out of the 2015-2016 police department budget, which had a remaining balance of more than $16-thousand. The insurance claim, totaling around $8-thousand will be put towards the squad car too.

Fire Chief David Hickox was thrilled when trustees confirmed the purchase of a 2016 Pierce Sabre fire truck for the village. Hickox says the first fire truck he wanted was sold this week, and if trustees had failed to approve the new truck, this one could have been sold too.

“Basically, if this was not purchased tonight, then there wouldn’t be anything and it would be eight or nine more months. It would also be about $40-thousand more. It is going to be great for the community and it has every modern thing on it you could ever ask. The current truck we have is 30 years old. I know it seems like a lot of money, but this thing is going to last,” says Hickox.

The price tag on the fire truck is $458,700. Forty-five percent of the truck will be covered through Tax Increment Financing funds.

A Ford F-150 Super Cab for the water/sewer department, priced at just over $20-thousand, was endorsed as well.

Mayor Steve Waltrip says it “feels good” to have a budget in place and vehicles coming into the village.

“I think it is good the trustees sat down together and got issues taken care of that they had concerns about. I was glad to see we are all in agreement and we are going to move forward. It is just a matter of cooperation and people feeling like they are on the same page,” says Waltrip.

All three vehicles and the budget were unanimously approved by trustees.