By TIMILEE WILBER
LYMAN – The council voted unanamously at their June 6 meeting to change the employment status of the animal control officer and the town hall janitor positions to part time (30 hours per week) with no benefits from full time with benefits.
This change, according to Lyman Mayor Andy Hewitt, will save the town $40,808 in revenues.
During the work session, Lyman resident, Lavonne Neunshwander spoke in favor of the council retaining the position for animal control.
“I was hoping there would be some people in support of the animal control officer. If there’s any way to keep this position. I think we should,” Neunshwander said.
Neuenshwander also read a letter to the council from Georgia Castle who was unable to attend the meeting. Castle wrote, “My concern is that if you budget it (the position) it will never get budgeted back.”
Hewitt stated, “This is not just an issue this year,” he said. “A good share of the time when she is on a call (referring to animal control officer Jill Carder) there is an officer there with her.”
Jana Condos Lyman council member stated, “We’re looking at it very closely, and we take it seriously.”
Hewitt also said, “We have other concerns with the budget. As the budget presently sits, we are looking at a $96,000 deficit. In previous years, at least for the last five years, we’ve made about $100,000 in cuts to the street and sidewalk repair budgets. The reason for the shortfall is that for several years, the requested $55,000 for the street maintenance budget, and the $54,000 for the sidewalk and curb repair budgets have been set aside at budget time.”
It’s a balancing act,” Hewitt said. “Not everyone will agree about how the money’s allocated. We need to get some work done this year. We could take it out of reserves. Our reserves are still plentiful.”
The $21,000 allocated for the backhoe trade-in was again discussed.
In other business, Joe V. Hickey of the rodeo committee voiced his concerns about proposed plans to renovate areas of the rodeo grounds complex, and the possibility that the town will begin charging a fee for the use of the arenas.
“We heard that you may start charging to use the arena. This facility is a grand thing for this Valley. There currently is no facility like that around here. We would have trouble paying a fee for the 24th of July Pioneer Days events. I wish we could expand the celebration. It is a good event for the community. It’s a very unique event,” he said.
For the complete article see the 06-14-2013 issue.
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