LAUREL HILL — The City Council on Thursday adopted the budget and millage rate for fiscal year 2018, and again couldn’t come to a unanimous vote to appoint a new council member.

BUDGET ADOPTION

The City Council held a public hearing on the final budget and millage rate before the regular council meeting. No residents approached the council, so they adjourned and moved on to the special meeting on the final budget.

Before voting on the budget and millage rate, the council took time to discuss any concerns they may have. Councilman Scott Moneypenny had three concerns.

Moneypenny said that he believes all of the money from the gas tax should go to roads, because Laurel Hill’s roads are in disrepair. In addition, he said he wanted to know why the budgeted cost for fuel equated to approximately $60 a day when there are only two to three city workers on the road daily, and there are only 14 miles of road in Laurel Hill.

At the budget workshop on Tuesday, Moneypenny asked City Clerk Nita Miller for more information on certifications of the city’s firefighters and the number of calls they run within a year before agreeing to give bonuses to the firefighters.

To answer one of Moneypenny’s concerns, Councilwoman Debra Adams gave a detailed report of the firefighters’ certifications; however, she did not have the number of calls run by the fire department in a year. To answer a second question, Mayor Robby Adams said the city over-budgets for fuel because of the possibility of fluctuating gas prices.

Moneypenny made a motion to accept the millage rate at 3.5 for the fiscal year, and Councilman Johnny James seconded the motion. The motion passed with all in favor.

James made the motion to adopt the final budget for the year. Councilman Mike Blizzard seconded the motion, but said he was doing it out of protest because there are aspects of the budget he didn’t agree with and had asked for more detailed information but never heard back from the city clerk.

Moneypenny agreed with Blizzard, but they both voted to approve the budget in order to move on with the schedule; however, both councilmen said they still want the information they asked for. The budget passed with all in favor.

COUNCIL APPOINTMENT

A familiar situation occurred when the vote for a new council member tied 2-2, leaving the council one seat short after Daniel Lane’s Aug. 3 resignation.

The council has received three applications since August. At the Sept. 7 meeting, Moneypenny and Blizzard voted for Shawn Cogan, and Adams and James voted for Jacob Locke.

The council voted for the same people again, unable to make a unanimous decision. Cogan attended the meeting and said he wants to be councilman because he wants to make his home better. Locke was not in attendance.

The council will vote on the same names at the next meeting, unless they receive additional applications.