Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Clay fire department could be finished this week

J-E News Editor
Clay City Council handled a brief agenda last Tuesday night, quickly approving the second reading of three budgetary ordinances and voting to renew the city employees’ insurance plan for the next fiscal year. But the biggest new of the night was the announcement that contractors were only a week and a half away from finishing construction of the new Clay Fire Department building.

“We could possibly take possession of the building by the end of next week (Friday, June 20),” said Fire Chief Jeremy Moore. “But a parking lot was not included in the construction plan. We will need some gravel and grading work before we can get the fire trucks in and out.”
Clay Fire Department has made 23 runs so far this year, while Clay Rescue has made 63.
The first of three budget ordinances was an amendment to the 2013-2014 budget. The ordinance assigned $23,000 of LGEA funding to the Caney Creek project, a project the city of Clay is splitting 50/50 with the city of Sturgis. The ordinance also divided $6,702 dollars raised in a recent surplus equipment auction between the street fund ($5,301) and the Fire Department fund ($1,401).
Council members also approved the second reading of the budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, showing Clay with a balanced budget of $1,782,664. The largest fund belongs to the city’s gas utility, which is estimated at $432,276 for the next year. Also adding to the total is the fire department fund’s $267,012, which city clerk Julianne Rhye said was a bit inflated because it still included grant money earmarked for the new fire station and an emergency generator.
Next the council approved the second reading of the city’s compensation ordinance, which  sets the hourly wages of all city employees.
In other business, the city’s health insurance plan was up for renewal. The city’s current insurance policy only went into effect on January 1, when the city changed insurance providers due to a large rate increase. After only six months, the new insurance policy will now see a 4.9 percent increase, but this time it will be locked in for one year. The cost to the city is expected to be roughly $6,480.33 per month.
The deductible period for the insurance plan will start on July 1, 2014 and run through June of 2015.
•Just prior to press time, the city of Clay notified The J-E that due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), their current insurance policy is no longer available. The council will meet Thursday, June 19 at 6:00 p.m. to address the issue.

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