PONCE DE LEON – Ponce de Leon Town Council approved its tentative 2018-2019 budget when they met in regular session September 6.

The $1,050,810 tentative budget shows utility fees as the largest revenue source for the town totaling $247,000 and the largest expense being salaries totaling $158,800.

The town also received a clean audit result although the town is still in deteriorating condition. By definition, deteriorating condition means a circumstance as of the end of the fiscal year that significantly impairs a county, municipality or special district's ability to generate enough revenues to meet its expenditures. While the town has improved since last year's audit, should revenues go down again, the town could face more deteriorating financial conditions according to Accountant Adam Nelson.

"Ponce de Leon is still in deteriorating condition but is moving away from that," said Nelson. "With no new debt having been incurred this year, it is a move in the right direction. Should your revenues go down, you could find yourselves back in the same position."

Rachel Montgomery was unanimously appointed to be the new council member to fill the seat left vacant by Larry Coaker who left due to health issues. Montgomery is expected to be sworn in next month.

The oak tree, also known as "the love tree," located at the old gym was severely damaged in the storm in July and is to be torn down because of safety issues. Town Clerk Tammy Melerine advised the council that donations are being taken to replace the tree.

Melerine also advised the council that Town Christmas Pole Lights are now available for purchase for the upcoming holiday season. For more information on the tree or lights contact town hall at 850-836-4361.

Ponce de Leon Town Council will meet again in regular session at 6 p.m. on October 4.