Bethany City Council Approves $24.1 Million Budget

Bethany’s Board of Aldermen approved a $24.1 million budget for the 2021 fiscal year during a meeting held on Monday night. City Administrator Jacob Taylor did provide some late changes for the budget that included $20,000 for an electric study through MO-PEP, $1,500 for a guardrail at Babe Adams Field, $4,000 for Water Plant Generator meter sets, $64,000 for a 2021 sidewalk project phase, $10,000 for repairs to the low water crossing at the city lake, and a reduction of $275,000 for water plant generators.

Council members also reviewed a preliminary formal sidewalk plan that could provide sidewalk connectivity between the elementary and the high school over the next decade. The creation of a formal sidewalk plan is thought to improve the city’s changes of obtaining grant funding through the Missouri Department of Transportation’s TAP program. The $64,000 in this year’s city budget would be used if the city’s application is approved this year. That sidewalk phase would run from Bulldog Avenue to the Aquatic Center along 29th Street. The total project’s cost would be $320,000. The selected projects may be awarded as early as March.

The city has been awarded nearly $158,000 in costs from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Volkswagen Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program to contruct an electric charging station. The city will be responsible for 20 percent of the costs that are association with the project. That acceptance of the award will also require the finalization of the agreement by the landowner. The charging station will be located at the Quality Inn site.

The city also plans to allow the suspension of gas, electric, water, and sewer late fees to expire on January 1st. The suspension had intially been done as a response to COVID-19.

One a 3-2 vote, Bethany’s City Council also approved a new policy that would require those employees that are offered the COVID-19 vaccine but refuse the vaccine to use paid time off, holiday pay, or go unpaid if the time off is taken due to COVID-19. Full time employees that get the vaccine will still receive no-charge PTO if their child has been quarantined or are without a daycare option due to COVID-19. That will only apply until the child has the option to receive the vaccine.