The 7 p.m. meeting is expected to cover issues about the LOST tax agreement with the county, the police department, budget, and road paving projects, according to Mayor Randy Sims.
“I’ll ask for a re-vote on the city budget since we now have a LOST (local option sales tax) agreement in place,” he said. “We have to have a budget by Jan. 1.”
Sims said the council turned down a temporary three-month budget at its last meeting.
“I’m going to ask the council to reconsider a three-month budget until we can get a permanent one in place,” he said. “The state mandates that every city operate under a budget, and we have to pass something to be in compliance.”
Sims said the city’s annual budget runs from October to October, but passage was delayed this year due to the uncertainty of the LOST agreement.
The county began talks with the cities on a LOST agreement in August, but after several months of negotiations, the parties failed to reach an agreement. After mediation also failed, the county began individual talks with the cities, and the board of commissioners approved a final agreement at a Nov. 29 called meeting.
The approved LOST agreement gives Mt. Zion 1.53 percent of the county’s 1-cent local option sales tax, which Sims estimates will bring the city about $250,000 next year.
“The LOST agreement is a major part of city revenue for operations,” he said. “We couldn’t pass our budget without knowing what the projected funds would be. We’ve been operating month to month until we get a budget passed under LOST, but the state said we have to have a budget for the interim period.”
Sims said his estimate of $250,000 is conservative, based on current state economic predictions.
“As the economy improves, our LOST revenue will improve with it,” he said.
The council is also expected to discuss the current situation with the police department.
A former police chief, Bradley Forrister, has been appealing his 2009 termination from the position. His replacement, Steve Miller, is also embroiled in a legal investigation, being put on administrative leave on charges he provided false information to the Georgia Police Officers Standards and Training council. Deputy Chief Brian Sims is currently acting as interim police chief.