Mayor Durham Addresses Rotary Club
by Bob Augustin Jr.
Lawrenceburg Mayor Keith Durham was the guest speaker at the Lawrenceburg Rotary Club's July 20 meeting. Mayor Durham addressed several issues of interest to the Rotarians and the citizens of Lawrenceburg.
Mayor Durham gave an update on the liquor store lottery that had been held the night before at the City Administration Building. He stated that after the Ordinance for sale of liquor passed this Spring the City Commission voted to limit the number of liquor stores within the city to four stores, which is one for every 2,500 citizens in the city. There were seven applicants for the four stores, so the City held a lottery to determine the four winners and the first, second and third alternates. The four winners now must apply for licensure through the state of Tennessee and pass a thorough background check before they will be granted a liquor license. If any of the candidates fails to receive the license from the state, then the next alternate will be able to apply.
Mayor Durham stated that the bulk of the income that liquor sales will generate for the city comes not from the sales tax, but from the 8% tax on the wholesale purchase price of the liquor for the stores. The city will receive revenue on the purchase of the liquor by the stores and the sale of liquor to the consumer.
The city commissioners currently are working on the 2007-2008 city budget. The new budget has a short fall of $1.4 million and there will have to be cuts made. The Mayor commended the city department heads for their efforts to trim the budget.
The mayor then fielded questions from the Rotarians regarding the on-going storm water retention project and the expansion of the the new landfill for construction debris. The Mayor said the storm water run-off/retention project was taking so long to complete because the Federal grant that the city received to do the project required matiching funds from the city to the tune of $4 million and, since they city didn't have $4 million stashed away somewhere, they were having to match the funds with in-kind funds. Instead of hiring a contractor to do most of the work, the city was doing the work itself and using that work as the matching funds. The Mayor said that he planned to completely finish phases 1 and 2 before starting on phase 3.
Regarding the new landfill, the Mayor said that the old landfill had been capped and closed at the cost of $300,000 and he was leaving the Rotary Club meeting and going directly to inspect the progress of the new landfill.
Pictured above are L to R: Rotary President Bill Phillips and Lawrenceburg Mayor Keith Durham.