Aldermen have rejected a proposal from the county to consolidate city and county tax collections.
The board voted unanimously Tuesday to reject the proposal which would have allowed the county to collect city taxes for a fee of 3 percent of the total collected. The county would have collected the taxes through the county tax collector’s office and then sent the funds collected to the city.
Ward 1 Alderman Jason Michael said he believes claims by the county that the move would save the city money in the long run aren’t accurate. He emphasized the current board and mayor have taken extensive steps over the past several years to cut costs and spending in the city and make city operations more efficient.
Michael said a similar proposal had been considered in the past and the city’s analysis showed there would be no net cost savings to the city.
“We’ve looked at it before and it didn’t make sense. It will not save the taxpayers of Booneville money,” said Michael.
He said he believes the mayor and aldermen know the city’s budget and operations better than anyone and the proposed plan would simply pay off.
Ward 3 Alderman Mark McCoy agreed and made the motion to reject the proposal. He said they’ve discussed it before and come to the same conclusion and he sees no need to revisit the issue.
The board also voted Tuesday to accept the resignation of city tourism and Main Street Association Director Lexie Gamble. An emotional Gamble thanked the board for the opportunity she’s had to lead the city’s tourism efforts and for their support in helping her learn and work to move the community forward. She said sincerely hates to leave a job she loves, but a long-awaited opportunity has come up for her to follow a dream that will take her away from Booneville. Her final day as director will be August 27.
The mayor and aldermen praised her for her hard work and dedication to the city and said they believe the city is stronger and on a path of growth in large part because of her efforts.
The city will immediately begin seeking applications to fill the position with the goal of having a new director in place prior to her departure.
In other business, the board:
approved the purchase of four decorative metal garbage cans for downtown at a total cost of $2,152 from MPIC.
approved seeking applications for seasonal concession stand workers, scorekeepers and umpires for the city park.
approved seeking applications for a full-time firefighter.
approved hiring Buddy Miles as a full-time truck driver and equipment operator in the street department.
approved hiring Ricky Heavner as a gas technician.
approved seeking applications for an in-house customer service technician in the gas department.
approved hiring Mark Tate as a police officer, transporter, code enforcement and court officer in the police department.
approved the reappointment of all city department heads for 2020-21.