The Miami City Council met Tuesday night at the chambers in the Civic Center to discuss and vote on a variety of issues.
One topic under consideration was a resolution, marked number 660, for the City to comply with and operate in accordance with the Municipal Budget Act for the fiscal ‘09-10 year.
The procedure dictates how the council and its departments budget revenues and spending. Currently the council operates those procedures under the Estimation of Needs Law.
A presentation by Frank Crawford of Crawford and Associates, an accounting firm in Oklahoma City, explained to the council the benefits of switching to the Municipal Budget Act standard. Among the details of the findings was an increase in governmental transparency and a better way of indexing spending when operating under the Municipal Budget Act as opposed to the Estimation of Needs Law.
Another difference between the Municipal Budget Act and the Estimation of Needs Law is that the Act contains more categories to define and detail city expenses.
Crawford also stated that the Municipal Budget Act was a better tool for a city with the budget size of Miami and that he knew of no comparable city to Miami that still used the Estimation of Needs Law.
After some discussion the board voted 4-1 to table the resolution and consult with the Utility Board after those members had an opportunity to visit with Crawford or watch the recorded playback of his presentation with the council. Mayor Brent Brassfield was the lone no vote on the table motion. Ultimately the city council will be the body to decide if the Estimation of Needs Law will be replaced with the Municipal Budget Act for the city of Miami.
The council also heard a presentation from city engineer Jack Dalrymple. Dalrymple appeared before the council to seek approval to submit a federal grant for repairs on the East Central Bridge over Tar Creek. The resolution, marked as number 661, passed unanimously. Further action from the council will be necessary if the grant is approved. The grant is good for $750,000 but early estimations to the state of the bridge range closer to $1 million needed for repair or replacement.
In other business Mayor Brassfield commended the Electric Department crew who traveled to Siloam Springs in January to help that city during the ice storm. The council also commended the crewmembers that stayed in Miami to make it possible for the traveling crew to venture to Arkansas.
The council voted unanimously to make Wednesday, February 25 Tom Poole Day in the City of Miami in recognition of Mr. Poole’s years of service to the community and NEO A&M.
On the consent agenda the council unanimously approved the purchase of six accordion doors for the Civic Center and appointed Larry Eller and councilman Scott Trussler to the Grand Gateway Board for 2009.
Marcia Johnson of the Miami Public Library gave a presentation about the goings-on that are planned there for the coming weeks.
Mayor Brassfield recognized the News-Record’s Jim Ellis for his work in helping prepare and coordinate the ceremonies marking the final MHS varsity basketball game at the Civic Center earlier this week.