Newborn OKs salaries for council
Budget for 2009 approved

NEWBORN - Beginning next year, members of the Newborn Town Council will get compensated for their service.

At its April 6 meeting, the council agreed to amend the town charter to provide salaries of $100 per month to the mayor and $75 per month to council members.

Currently, the mayor and council members are not paid.

The salaries go into effect Jan. 1, 2010.

In other news, the council recently approved the 2009 budget.

The budget was set at $297,342.92, about $46,000 less than last year's budget.

According to minutes from the council's March 16 meeting, Councilman Dennis Fincher inquired if the town would still have to be audited, since the budget is less than $300,000.

Councilwoman Suzanne Bean stated that the town's certified public accountant has advised they will undergo a partial audit for the 2008 budget year. The town has allocated $2,000 to cover the cost of required audit, she said.

However, next year, the town is not required to be audited because this year's budget falls below $300,000, she said.

According to the Georgia Department of Revenue Web site, if expenditures from all governmental funds combined with expenses from all proprietary funds total less than $300,000, officials can choose not to hire an independent CPA to perform an audit.

The town operates on a calendar year budget. However, according to the town charter, if the budget is not approved at the beginning of the fiscal year, the prior year's budget is "deemed adopted for the ensuing fiscal year on a month to month basis, with all items appropriated accordingly until such time as the mayor and council adopt a budget."

The town operated on the 2007 budget until July 2008 due to uncertainty over the cost of a water project.

Repeated attempts have been made to get comment from town officials on the budget delay this year. Officials have not returned phone calls.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.