The council on Monday held the first reading of the budget for its fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The council could approve the budget during its June 27 meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.
The proposed budget calls for revenues to be set at $1.13 million, down from the current budget’s $1.7 million. Expenditures are budgeted at $1.3 million, a decrease from the current budget’s $1.53 million.
It’s based on the city’s millage rate 3.573 mills. A homeowner with a $200,000 house and a standard $5,000 exemption would have a $268 city tax bill.
The new millage rate will be set by the council later this year, after the county tax digest is received.
The proposed budget is also based on the city’s three employees, with no vacancies or furloughs.
The budget includes a general fund, which covers day-to-day operations, of $264,090, a drop from the current budget of $285,082.
Water fund revenues are projected at $602,550, down from $621,532 in the current budget. The fund’s expenditures are $602,550, up from the current budget’s $538,6724.
The proposed budget also includes the city maintaining the amount of water it purchases at $300,000.
The council has budgeted for $269,376 in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenues, down from $815,204 in the current budget.
The budget calls for $450,731 in SPLOST expenditures, up from the current $710,234.
City Clerk Aimee Abernathy said the city has “ate up” its existing reserves.
“This year has been rough,” she said, adding no new projects are included in the proposed budget.
The city has budgeted for the completion of its water main replacement along Highway 140, which includes replacing a six-inch line from Lower Burris Road north to Reinhardt University with a 10-inch line.
Abernathy also said she hopes to see the completion of the proposed splash pad at Cline Park by the end of the upcoming fiscal year.
Council members have positive reviews about the proposed budget.
Councilman Bill Cline said he thought Abernathy “laid out a good budget.”
Council member Dennis “Hill” Cochran added he hopes the city will be able to control expenses in the upcoming fiscal year.
He noted the previous budget brought many “unforeseen” expenses that have carried into the current fiscal year.
Despite those circumstances, Cochran said city staff have “done a good job” in managing the city’s finances.
He also said the city has seen decline in its SPLOST and property tax revenue, but it’s managed to “stay under budget.”
“We are headed in the right direction,” he said.
Mayor Doris Jones added things may be soon turning around for the city with the news that two businesses are looking to open up shop.
The council also on Monday:
n Approved the first reading of an special event permit and a proposed ordinance to regulate solicitation, loitering and panhandling in the right-of-way.
n approved a six-month lease agreement with HMCS Holdings, LLC which allows them to lease the extra space in City Hall for $400 per month;
n the council met in closed session to discuss real estate and personnel, but took no action upon returning.