Bartlett sets budget, keeps same ad valorem tax rate

Bartlett’s city board approved the upcoming fiscal year’s budgets and an unchanged ad valorem tax rate of $1.83 upon the second reading of the related ordinances at the May 22 meeting. The public hearings for both ordinances will be on June 12.

Expenditure highlights from the 2018-19 budgets include:

  • $55,734,205, general funds
  • $90,596,415, total special revenue funds (This includes the Street Aid Fund, Solid Waste Fund, General Improvement Fund, Drug Enforcement Fund, DEA Enforcement Fund, Drainage Control Fund, Park Improvement Fund and Bartlett City School Fund. The school fund alone accounts for $79,847.876; it also includes an additional school resource officer to enhance school safety.)
  • $11,178,244, utility fund
  • $8,471,401, general debt service

The city’s Capital Improvement Program for FY2019-23 has a five-year total of $58.7 million and lists these amounts annually:

  • $16,296,936 for FY2019
  • $19,469,683 for FY2020
  • $8,910,000 for FY2021
  • $9,175,000 for FY2022
  • $4,875,000 for FY2023

The proposed ad valorem tax rate will remain at $1.83 per for every $100 of taxable personal property’s assessed valuation.

$10K donation

The mayor and board also celebrated a check presentation to Youth Villages from this year’s fifth annual pickleball tournament that citizens organized at city recreation centers. The 2018 event raised $10,147.91 and attracted 144 participants. The money will be used to help youths who leave the campus to live independently find jobs and live successfully as young adults.

Event organizers also said they have requested that Bartlett convert two tennis courts at Ellendale Park to six pickleball courts to accommodate this rapidly growing sport, and they have offered to help pay for such a project. Mayor McDonald said the city is looking at the cost and considering other park location possibilities as well.

Other business

In other business, the board:

  • Accepted the only qualified bid for a year’s worth of oil and lubricant for the city’s Public Works Department. Panther Oil’s bid was for $35,925.
  • Accepted the lower annual bid from Michael’s Tree and Loader Service for the city’s loose waste collection. The bid was for a minimum of three hours per visit at a rate of $185/hour for truck #1 (capacity of 40-55 cubic yards), $215/hour for truck #2 (55-85 c.y.), $255/hour for truck #3 (86-115 c.y.) and $275/hour for truck #4 (55-85 c.y.).
  • Accepted the lowest annual bid from Clarke for generator load testing. The bid was for $12,850.
  • Accepted the lowest bid from D&L to replace the Justice Center’s HVAC units at a cost of $47,295.
  • Accepted the lowest bid from Enscor for the Elmore Park Road drainage improvements project. The bid was for $123,250 plus a contingency amount of $26,750, for a total cost of $150,000.
  • Accepted the presentation of a report on debt obligation for the Bartlett City Schools district’s Apple computer capital lease (approved on May 8). The debt is a total of $5,031,865 for 2018-2021 for 5,200 Apple computers and network equipment at a tax-exempt interest rate of 4.04 percent.
  • Approved a resolution that sets the mayor’s salary and vehicle stipend for the four-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2019. The current annual salary of $95,000 will have an annual increase of $2,500 for that period. After four years, that will bring the annual salary to $105,000. The mayor agrees to use his personal vehicle and receive a flat rate of $500 per month plus fuel reimbursement for trips beyond a 50-mile radius of his home or office.
  • Approved a resolution that sets the annual salaries of city aldermen at the current rate of $12,000, beginning Jan. 1, 2019. There was one dissenting vote from Alderman Emily Elliott.
  • Approved a resolution that sets the annual salary of the city’s Division I judge at the current rate of $64,000 for the eight-year period beginning Sept. 1.
  • Amended the FY2018 Bartlett City Schools Education Capital Project Fund and General Purpose School Fund to allocate funds for the district office renovation and the $65,091,625 in major renovations at Bartlett High School, as well as the Apple lease approved at the last board meeting.
  • Approved a special event permit for Bartlett Station Movies in the Park, a free and family-friendly movie series to be offered at sunset on Aug. 24, Sept. 7, Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 at W.J. Freeman Park.
  • Approved a special event permit for St. Ann Church’s Fall Fest, slated for 6-10 p.m. Oct. 19 and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 20 on the church’s campus.
  • Heard a reminder from Alderman W.C. “Bubba Pleasant” about the annual fish fry he hosts with Rep. Ron Lollar of Bartlett. It will be July 21 at Pleasant’s home at 4189 Germantown Road.
  • Heard a reminder from Alderman Elliott that the Bartlett Station Farmers Market is now open 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday’s at W.J. Freeman Park.
  • Honored the city’s Public Works Department with a proclamation during National Public Works Week.

CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to