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Caledonia audit shows town in good fiscal shape

 

Carmen K. Sisson

 

As people around the nation gathered to hear results from the presidential election Tuesday night, the Caledonia Board of Aldermen waited for news of another kind -- the findings of their 2010 full-scope audit. 

 

The news was good.  

 

The town, along with the water and sewer department, took in $1,181,590 in revenue for Fiscal Year 2010, reported Dale Pierce, an independent auditor from Aberdeen. Of that amount, the town's collection totaled $416,366, with the largest chunk of revenue -- $129,711 -- coming from sales tax. The town spent $339,695, leaving $76,671. 

 

"It's pretty obvious things are going good," said Pierce, who charged the town $7,450 for his services. "There's nothing major you need to do." 

 

More good news came from Caledonia Day co-chairman Susan Bell. The ninth annual festival, held Oct. 19-20, drew around 1,200 people Friday night and more than 10,000 people Saturday, she said.  

 

And although the numbers have not been finalized, she estimated that more than $35,000 was spent with the festival's vendors -- a 30 percent sales tax increase over last year.  

 

"We feel like we had real nice growth this year," Bell said.  

 

In other news, Water Superintendent Benny Coleman updated the aldermen on the water rate increase, which is still awaiting approval from the Mississippi Public Service Commission.  

 

Originally, Coleman said, he had proposed no minimum bill for the town's 1,967 water customers, but due to processing and handling fees, he has decided it will be necessary to charge a flat rate of $7.25 for customers using less than 1,000 gallons of water in a billing cycle, with an additional $7.25 charged for every 1,000 gallons used.  

 

He said an average household of four uses around 5,500 gallons of water per month, while a single person averages around 2,000 gallons.  

 

The board also took the following actions: 

 

n Agreed to accept Mayor George Gerhart's nomination of Jack and Gloria Newberry as co-marshals of the Caledonia Christmas parade; 

 

n Agreed to accept a gazebo as a gift from the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation, which recently declared the gazebo located beside the Tennessee Williams Welcome Center as surplus; 

 

n Agreed to hire Krista Hill, the granddaughter of Town Clerk Judy Whitcomb, to assist Whitcomb with town duties several days a week, at a rate of $10 per hour.

 

Carmen K. Sisson is the former news editor at The Dispatch.

 

 

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