City’s first year owning pool smooth

VERGENNES — City Manager Mel Hawley last week gave aldermen a rosy update on the first full year of city ownership of the Vergennes pool.
At Aug. 23 meeting of the Vergennes City Council, he said he had checked numbers quickly and come up with a pool fund balance of about $6,500.
In a Wednesday morning phone call, Hawley said the picture was even brighter: His initial look at the pool’s finances had not included the $6,000 aldermen had earmarked for the pool from the city’s Watershed Fund. That fund, created by the sale of the city’s former reservoir property in Monkton, is dedicated to supporting Vergennes recreation.
With that money included, the pool finished more than $12,000 in the black, although Hawley told aldermen the its two diving boards needed replacing. Spending at the pool this year included $6,500 for a new pump, however.
Hawley said next year’s pool budget would include a line item for a capital fund intended to cover the costs of major equipment and building costs as they occurred.
In other business, aldermen:
•  Heard from Hawley that he remained concerned that the amount of delinquent taxes remained high — almost $62,000 — nearly two months after the end of the previous fiscal year. By Aug. 31, 2010, he said only about $14,000 was delinquent. Regardless, Hawley said, enough money remained overall in unspent funds from the previous fiscal year to use $125,000 to meet aldermen’s tax-rate target.
•  Unanimously approved a measure that would exempt active-duty military personnel from interest and late-payment penalties from not paying bills on time. City Clerk Joan Devine said personnel overseas, in particular, understandably had trouble making timely payments.
•  Heard that recently retired public works head Carroll O’Connor had declined any public acknowledgement of his long tenure. Daniels displayed a plaque for O’Connor, and said, “Thank you, Carroll, for all your service.”
•  Heard from Daniels that the Vergennes newsletter, “The City Voice,” would be available in downtown stores and online by midweek.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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