Sheldon gets new fire truck from Tightwad

Thursday, December 15, 2011

SHELDON -- Boosted by the bargain acquisition of a firetruck from the West Central Missouri town of Tightwad, the Sheldon Board of Aldermen OK'd its 2012 budget with extra money for the library and fire department.

Alderman Robert Moran said Sheldon had found itself in need of a pumper when the old one broke down and the board was first told by the Tightwad Board of Aldermen that the surplus replacement would cost $30,000.

"But they finally agreed to sell it for half that because we're another small Missouri community," said Moran of the Henry County town of 64 people. "They said they called it Tightwad because one of their early settlers was an old curmudgeon who wasn't willing to spend money on anything, so they named it after him."

Referring to $50,000 in unexpended funds that Sheldon will carry over in the new year, Moran said Tuesday that the board members "have tried as much as we can to constrain our expenses within our income.

"We have a small budget compared to larger communities, so we have to be careful with each dollar we spend," he said. "We'll come in under budget this year for the second year in a row.

"We always build in a small amount for unanticipated expenses that we can't predict like mechanical failures on equipment."

Sheldon City Clerk Becky Morgan said next year's $249,459 in projected expenditures will be an increase over the $240,072 being spent in calendar 2011 in this south central Vernon County town of 530.

Morgan said the five-man board Dec. 8 projected revenues of $273,656 for 2012. "We're providing an extra $3,500 to the fire department while the library goes from zero to $1,200," she reported.

"We spent $7,500 this year to pay on the pumper and $24,384 on the 2001 sewer-lagoon loan. The surplus depends on equipment repairs. The board wants to continue streetwork and keep up maintenance on vehicles and equipment. We will also buy a commercial lawnmower."

Morgan said principal expenditures will be $58,000 for personnel, $24,000 for electricity, $12,500 for the landfill and trash collections, $12,000 for liability insurance, $10,000 for fuel and $7,500 to pay off the Tightwad pumper.

She said Sheldon had $258,637 in expenses and $297,851 in revenues in 2010. The Board of Aldermen is Mayor Rob Sewell, Jarod and Joshua Lamb, Bob Burns and Moran.

The town has two full-time employees, Maintenance Supervisor Derald Stanley and Morgan, and part-timer Anthony Lightwine, who helps Stanley with trash collections each Monday.

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