Nicholson could benefit from a stronger-than-expected revenue source as it looks ahead to putting together its 2021 budget.

Mayor Jan Webster said indications are that local option sales tax money (LOST) has remained strong despite the economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Webster expressed her surprise.

“We thought it was going to bottom out,” she said. "(County manager) Kevin Poe said that it's higher."

Webster, who bought up the sales tax money during the city council’s July 23 work session, said city clerk Debbie Fontaine will soon begin the process of compiling numbers for the city’s tentative budget.

The council seeks to finalize its budget by November.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business, the council:

•will consider a $5,200 bid from Simmons Heating and Air to install heat and air conditioning at the city’s John Deere Hall, located at Benton Center. City staff tried, unsuccessfully, for multiple weeks to receive additional bids. Simmons has done previous work for the city for its event center. The council will vote on the matter Aug. 3.

•heard that Webster has a telephone conference with a USDA representative to discuss possible grant funding for improvement projects at Benton Center. “If there’s money out there somewhere, we’re just as good to have some as anybody else,” Webster said. Some of the those projects include improvements to the roof, facade, parking lot and sprinkler system as well as possible walking trails.

•heard that the city’s library annex project is moving along. Webster said she has asked the county SPLOST committee for approval to cover 10 percent of the project.

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