City’s budget staff wins award

Posted on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 11:32 am

For the third consecutive year, Morristown City Administrator Tony Cox won the prestigious Distinguished Budget Award bestowed by the Government Finance Officers Association.

Cox, who was formally presented the award Tuesday afternoon by Morristown Mayor Danny Thomas, emphasized the award represents a team achievement. The fact remains, however, that Cox is the only Morristown city administrator to ever receive the award.

Also Tuesday, Jody Wigington, general manager of Morristown Utility Systems, told councilmembers the utility’s in-lieu tax payments, which are remitted instead of property and sales tax, to city and county government have again increased.

For the second consecutive year, the payment to city government has topped $1 million. The in-lieu payments have increased by 55 percent to $1,087,400 over the past four years, in large part, due to MUS’s telecommunications system, according to Wigington.

MUS’s payment to Hamblen County government will be approximately $315,000. TVA’s in-lieu payments were $332,000 to city government and $886,000 to county government.

In other business Tuesday, the city council approved an economic-impact study for the Popkin Town Center Economic Development Area off East Morris Boulevard, the future site of a Food City grocery store.

Councilmember Paul LeBel, a commercial real estate broker who was involved in the deal, abstained from the vote.

The economic-impact plan must be approved before Food City can receive tax-incremental financing, which designates some future increase in property tax to infrastructure development.

Lou Scudere, Food City vice president for development, told councilmembers a 37,150-square-foot store will be built on the 11-acre former Berkline property. The development will also include 12,000 square feet of additional retail space and three outparcels.

If, as expected, the Popkin Town Center Food City gets TIF approval, it will be the third Food City to benefit from the program.

Councilmembers unani-mously on Tuesday approved the promotion of two Morristown Fire Department members and the hiring of three entry-level firefighters.

Thomas Ucciardi was promoted to lieutenant and Shane Henson has the new rank of driver. The new firefighters, who will attend the basic fire-fighting academy in February, are Kevin Brown, Caleb Jones and Logan Horner.

The mayor reappointed councilmember Gary Chesney to chair the Morristown City Council Finance Committee. Thomas also reappointed councilmembers Kay Senter and Chris Bivens to the committee.

Morristown architect Eddie Fuller will fill the remaining term of Bryan Dickerson on the Housing Board of Adjustments and Appeals, a board that rarely meets.

Dickerson was recently appointed to the Morristown Utility Commission, and can’t serve on two city boards simultaneously.

-From Staff Reports

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