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The Vidalia Board of Aldermen reviewed finances during its regular meeting Tuesday night while it was announced that hydroelectric rebates will be paid to utility customers possibly as early as next month.

Mayor Buz Craft announced that changes in town code enforcement were on the horizon, including measures to keep the town clean. He said that work is in progress.

Town Accountant Debra Moak in a financial report said the town had cash on hand totaling $9.1 million combined through August with $7 million restricted to the hydro account and $1.1 million in sales tax

Assets total $35.5 million with $5.7 million in liabilities

An increase in sales tax collections was recorded for July and August over the same period last year, Moak said, but September collections are down.

She said hydroelectric royalty rebates are being processed and checks will go out by mid-November or early December, noting that Craft’s administration has paid out $2.7 million in rebates since he took office four years ago.

Additionally, she said monies borrowed for substation work through Aug. 7 totaled $780,000 to cover material, engineering and legal work.

Roadway construction is 82 percent complete with $1.4 million spending thus far. All paving has been completed on allocated roads

She said the town has received $333,527 through CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) for costs involving sanitizer, mask, gloves, laptops and Covid-19 testing.

In other action, aldermen:

Voted to employ replacement hires for Vidalia Police Department including Joshua Cole Hornsby as a fulltime police officer and Mary E. Wiley as a fulltime dispatcher. Aldermen Robert Gardner and Tommy Probst voted against the hiring while Jon Betts, Brent Smith and Rosas Demby voted in favor.

Approved a resolution accepting all bids for transformer-breaker additions for the substation work, awarding the project to Ernest P. Breaux Electrical LLC for $726,905.

Approved a resolution accepting all bids for site work and transmission pad at the Vidalia Industrial Park, awarding the project to Camo Construction Co. Inc for $149,393.

Appointed the mayor as director and utility department head Ricky Roth as alternate director to represent the town on the Louisiana Municipal Gas Association.

Tabled action on adding employee costs for Air Evac membership to the town’s benefit package.

Heard an update from Craft on street and sewer projects.

Went into executive session at the end of the meeting.

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