Doug Koestel

Doug Koestel

The Bethlehem Town Council approved the town’s $390,326 budget for Fiscal Year 2020 during its Monday, Jan. 6 meeting.

That’s roughly $57,000 more than the budget that was approved for 2019, with road maintenance and repairs being the main increases.

Overall, the town has $93,000 budgeted for road maintenance and repairs in 2020 and an additional $70,000 in SPLOST road work. Other budgeted expenditures include $54,000 with Allied Waste, $38,000 for salaries, $22,000 for legal expenses and $18,000 for utilities.

Monday’s meeting was the first for new Post 2 councilman Doug Koestel, who was sworn in by town attorney Ron Bennett. Koestel replaces former councilman Wayne Ridgeway, who chose not to seek another term. Koestel was the only person who qualified for the seat in August.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the council:

•approved an agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the town to pay power costs for the red lights at the future Highway 316/11 interchange exit ramps. The town won’t be responsible for any payments on the materials, construction, installation or maintenance of the traffic signals.

•opted not to pursue an agreement for glass recycling due to projected costs.

•elected councilman Tommy Parten mayor pro tem. Ridgeway had held the position.

•approved a business license for the Aleisha England Agency.

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