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September 6--  The Lyons City Council has approved a tentative raise of one mil to the city's property tax rate and is looking at ways to cut expenses to dig its way out of what City Councilman Larry Griggers has called a fiscal crisis.

Lyons City Manager Jason Hall says, "Kudos to our council.  They took almost two months in evaluating this budget and they did not look at just one thing. They looked at expenditure cuts, they looked at revenues and they looked at ways to make our processes quicker and more efficient.  They did a really good job and spent a lot of time on this process.  We are making good use of not only the tax dollars but the revenue dollars we receive."

The city manager says both employee levels and services are being evaluated, "All of our departments have evaluated their personnel and are making adjustments as we speak.  They're not massive cuts and most citizens will not see a difference in what employees are out on the street," and regarding services, "We're still going to do the same jobs for the services, we're just becoming more efficient and leaner."

Public hearings on the property tax rate increase will be held Thursday, September 12 at noon and six p.m. at City Hall and again on Thursday, September 19th at six p.m.  A called council meeting will be held immediately thereafter at 6:30 p.m. to vote on the increase.

In other actions at its September meeting, the city council:

* Approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Toombs County Board of Education allowing city use of school athletic fields for $15,000 annually.

* Hired attorney Jess Clifton to be the part-time city court prosecutor for $400 a month.

* Approved a zoning variance allowing Mona Jones to build mini-warehouses for storage and a residence on three-and-a-quarter acres at 721 South State Street.

* Hired the engineering consulting firm of Carter & Sloope to apply for grants extending city water and sewer to a site north of Highway 130 and another for infrastructure improvements at a site to be determined.