St. Mary Adopts FY 2021 Budget; Swears In New City Collector

By MARK EVANS

mevans@stegenherald.com

Hours before Fiscal Year 2020 ended, the St. Mary Board of Aldermen approved an FY 2021 budget.

The budget, which calls for $151,755 in total estimated receipts and $151,343 in total estimated expenditures, passed by a 4-0 vote at  special Board of Aldermen meeting on Sept. 30.

The lack of a quorum the previous week had necessitated the special meeting to get the city a new operating budget before the old one expired at the end of the month.

The board also passed ordinances eliminating some stop signs and rescinding a December 2019 ordinance that eliminated the city’s municipal court and police department.

Meanwhile, the board accepted the resignation of treasurer Stacia Placke and voted to hire  Katrina Ullman. Later in the meeting, Ullman arrived and was sworn in by city manager/city clerk David Woods.

 UDGET SHOWS SLIGHT SURPLUS

The budget anticipates $35,000 coming in on real estate taxes, $26,000 under “gross receipts tax,” $17,500 under sales tax, $17,000 under municipal court fines and $14,500 under highway tax.

Expenditures include $68,553 under administration, $24,125 for the newly-reestablished police department, $18,675 for the fire department and $33,235 for the street department.

Prior to voting on the budget, Alderman Dr. Zenon Duda asked Woods why the total expenditures and total revenue figures did not match. Woods explained that it is “not like a balance sheet” and that the numbers worked out with a slight surplus.

DUDA DISAGREES ON ONE STOP SIGN

Two of the ordinances dealt with the removal of stop signs.

“I don’t agree with the stop sign removal because there’s a curve in the road, it’s got pea gravel, which is a slippery surface,” Duda said. “If somebody goes through it too quickly, they can slide off the road and I don’t feel it’s safe.”

“You’re  right about the stop sign we’re looking at,” Mayor Carlton Wyatt said. “It’s a bad stop sign.”

The ordinance still passed by a 3-1 vote, with only Duda voting against it.

PLACKE PRAISED FOR HER WORK

A resignation letter was read from Placke, informing the board that she was resigning immediately, to take a position in the county circuit court clerk’s office. Wyatt said, Placke had intended to give two-weeks notice, but the need to start work on her new job had made that impossible.

He said that Placke has agreed to work with Ullman to get her up to speed while she transitions into her  new job.

“We do appreciate what you’ve done,” Wyatt said. “You’ve done a very good job. … You have done a  fine job. I appreciate you.”

Ullman is wife of fire chief Frankie Ullman.

PROSECUTOR TO BE REESTABLISHED

The board also voted 4-0 to repeal the December 2019 ordinance that abolished the court and prosecutor.