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City Council passes budget

The Bainbridge City Council passed its $27.4 million budget for its 2011-2012 fiscal year on Tuesday night.

About $11 million of the total consists of equity from two rounds of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). The city expects to spend about $9.8 million in SPLOST funds through Oct. 1, 2012.

Most of the SPLOST spending is associated with work on the next phase of the city’s sewer master plan and a proposed renovation of City Hall, which is awaiting final approval by the City Council. The council has agreed to allow a construction firm to submit a final proposal and cost on the renovation project.

Childers Construction of Tallahassee, Fla., which is partnered with PDC Construction of Bainbridge, was chosen to be the construction manager on the project, however, the council will need to vote one more time on whether to move forward with the project or go back to the drawing board. Architectural firm Clemons, Rutherford and Associates of Tallahassee estimated the total cost of the renovation to be about $3.8 million, which would be paid for using SPLOST receipts.

In other business, the council heard from visitor Ronnie Burke, executive director of the Decatur County Family Connection Collaborative. Burke thanked the city government and its employees for all that they did to make the third annual Port City Rodeo a success, held earlier this month.

Burke said that after Family Connection unexpectedly had to change the venue of the rodeo back in July, city employees were very cooperative in preparing the site at the Commodore Decatur Industrial Park off Dothan Road, to make it suitable for the rodeo. Their assistance included providing access to city water, mowing grass and other site preparation, hooking up electricity, killing fire ants and making use of front-end loaders for different tasks, including installation of the rodeo bleachers.

In final business, the council approved two nominations made by Mayor Edward Reynolds to the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, which determines how a portion of hotel/motel tax receipts are spent. The council reappointed Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer and selected businessman and past Chamber of Commerce chairman Don Whaley to fill another seat on the CVB board.