News Brief December 27, 2009

Friday, Mayor Jerry Gist released his report to the council on areas important to city and its well being. My remarks are included.

Financial:

December sales tax receipts (October, 2009) are running 2.9% above 2008 within the city. Â Madison County receipts are down 0.7%. (Remember that 2008 was not a particularly good year for sales tax receipts)

Property taxes paid through the second week of December are down $657,873 from the same time last December. (While property tax receipts were down, the collection of back taxes usually corrects itself within the year unless the property moves into state owned hands.)

The City provided the closing attorney a check for $824,473.51 to buy back the parking garage lots with improvements. (The increase in price from about $815,000 to above check, I am assuming, is in referral to interest payments that the city agreed to pay Mr. Allen for the property. To this date the property has not been completely filled in. I would hope the attorney would hold payment until that is completed as specified in the agreement. Why do I think that not likely?)

The City has operated at 8.87% below budget for the first five months of this fiscal year. (This is the one area that I think Jerry has done a great job, but this is going to be more difficult as the area will suffer from a lack of sales tax receipts.)

Leaf pick up status:

The city will be unable to take call-in requests for loose-leaf pickup, but they are taking requests for bagged leaves. The Street Department is running a set route for loose leaf pickup. For a truck to run from one section of town to another in order to pick up for those who call in a request is an inefficient system.

I would suggest calling the Street Department for the route for loose leave pick up at (731) 425-8544.

Centennial Pass is the new development under construction at the old Parkview Courts site on East Chester for low to moderate income elderly aged 62+. “There are 48 one-bedroom units in ten buildings and one office building.” The complete project cost is $6,176,833.

The sources of funding include Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Jackson Housing Authority Capital Funds and Program Income. This is a mixed-finance development approved by HUD. There will be ten units available for rent this month. The Authority continues to accept applications for Centennial Pass at the Central Office at 125 Preston Street. This is a project initiated by the Jackson Housing Authority. (This is one of the most costly projects I have observed for some time in regards to cost per square foot.)

UCR Crime Stats for January through November 2009 versus same period in 2008 include: 

2009  2008

Murder                               12       6

Rape                                   24      25

Robbery                            172     225

Agg Assault                      375     404

Burglary                          1045      936

Theft                                2721     2943

Motor Vehicle Thefts     270      384

Total                               4,619    4,923

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