FERRIS - The Ferris City Council conducted a work session Monday night to consider the fiscal year 2007-2008 revenue forecast and discuss a proposed personnel budget, including salaries and benefits and additional personnel as well as project priorities.

Revenues were down in most areas, according to City Manager Gus Pappas.

“Water revenues have been down due to the heavy rains,” he said. “Traffic tickets and building permits are also down.”

Pappas said the city usually has at least one large commercial contract each year and between 20 and 30 residential contracts, with the annual revenue estimated at about $3,065,000.

“One problem we have is the water source to the city,” Pappas said. “We are limited in our capacity for growth because of the limited water storage facilities at Rockett Water Supply.”

Pappas also cited the need for additional personnel, including a new parks worker, policeman and a person to work animal control. He also wants to move two part-time employees to full-time and expressed his desire to see further reduction in the city’s lease-purchase contracts.

“We have several applications turned in for the animal control department, and two or three of them look pretty promising,” Pappas said.

Councilman Billy Dunn expressed a need to implement a personnel cost accounting plan for all city employees. He suggested that funds might be saved if work orders were required by employees and if certain positions were outsourced.

“It is frustrating to me when I pass by a site and see some city employees working while a couple of others are standing around smoking cigarettes,” Dunn said. “There have been times when I have seen two men follow each other around town in city vehicles burning twice as much gas when they could be riding in one vehicle.

“It’s the taxpayers money, and there needs to be more accountability,” Dunn said.