Beginning Friday, July 16, registered voters will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for the August 5 state primary and county general elections.
Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections for DeKalb County, is encouraging voters to take advantage of early voting.
“Local voters have come to enjoy the benefits and convenience of voting early,” Administrator Stanley said. “Voters can vote at their convenience and not worry about rushing to the polls on Election Day.”
“In November 2008, approximately 58 percent of the registered voters who voted in the election in Tennessee took advantage of early voting,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “I expect a significant number of voters to vote early this election as well.”
Tennessee Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins will be kicking off the first day of early voting by casting his own ballot.
Smithville aldermen have penciled in more spending in the proposed new budget and plan to set aside $400,000 from the general fund surplus to go toward the purchase of a ladder truck for the city volunteer fire department.
None of the proposed new expenditures would require an increase in the city property tax rate but it would reduce the size of the general fund surplus and that is something that Mayor Taft Hendrixson is not happy about.
The mayor and aldermen met in a workshop session Tuesday evening to review the proposed budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year which has not yet been adopted and to consider budget requests from department heads.
Fire Chief Charlie Parker, among other requests, renewed his appeal for a ladder truck, something members of the fire department have long wanted and say the city needs. Parker says the department would like to have a new ladder truck, but that could cost as much as $900,000 so, he says, if the city could find a good used truck, that would be okay too.
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Alderman Steve White, who proposed putting aside the $400,000 for the truck, said while the general fund surplus would be impacted, it would by no means be depleted. "It's not like we're spending all of our reserve. We will still have, I think somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.8 or $2.9 million in the general fund (surplus) after everything comes out that should be in this budget. The main thing is the safety of our residents and our firefighters and the protection of their properties."
White adds that he is convinced the city needs a ladder truck. "I feel like that we've really needed the ladder truck for quite a few years. The Moog disaster is one big example in my opinion. The City of Smithville and DeKalb County lost a factory with probably 250 employees and on the other side of it is safety. The ladder truck is going to pump a lot more water and the firefighters will be able to put the water where it definitely needs to be. Of course time is of essence in a fire and getting the water where it needs to be and as much water as possible is the big thing there."
" It ($400,000) won't buy a new truck and it may not buy a real good used truck but I think that with Charlie and with Wink, one of the firefighters that we have, I think that they should be able to find a real good used truck that's still in good shape that would still last us for probably twelve or fifteen years down the road. If things change and we can't find one, then we can let that (fund) grow and then go from there. I think that the market right now, especially with times being tough, that there will be some good deals out there and we will be able to find a real good truck for that."