The council at its work session on Monday night reviewed the $5.5 million budget, which will be up for a vote at the Dec. 21 meeting.
The budget is made up of the general fund used for operating the city government as well as the capitol projects and special revenue funds.
The general fund budget is proposed at $3.8 million for the fiscal year beginning on Jan. 1, down from the current $4 million budget.
The proposed budget is based on the millage rate of 4.865 mills approved last month by the council. While still considered revenue neutral, as most taxpayers will see lower bills as a result of decreased assessments, the rate was increased from 4.63 mills. The fire district tax paid to the county government was set at a separate rate of 2.742 mills.
The spending decrease in the proposed budget reflects reductions in staff, as the city government has lowered its employee count from 49 people, including the mayor and council, at the start of this fiscal year, to 45 today.
The proposed budget does not call for a cost-of-living increase for employees, another trim as the current budget included a 3 percent raise.
The council at Monday's work session also reviewed the following agenda items in preparation for the Dec. 21 meeting:
* A proposed engineering contract for the streetscapes and lighting project on Holly Springs Parkway and Hickory Road. For the Livable Centers Initiative Transportation Project, the city staff is recommending the council hire Development, Planning and Engineering Inc. and its team of Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Atlanta Consulting Engineers, and United Consulting Group to complete the project engineering. The company is the low bidder at $183,598, which is within the $200,000 budget. The LCI Grant funds will finance $146,878, and the city match is $36,720;
* Setting qualifying fees for the November 2010 council election, which have been recommended at $180 for each of the two council seats up for a vote;
* Setting 2010 meeting dates;
* A proposed Founders Day Committee resolution, which would make in inactive, but not end the city's plans to hold community events;
* A proposed resolution to adopt the Cherokee County Hazard Mitigation Strategy;
* A proposed contract for the Sixes Road bridge improvement project. The city staff is recommending the council hire Randall W. Gipson with Haynes, Gipson & Associates at a cost not to exceed $25,800 with the initial capital outlay of $9,700 for the first two phases;
* Employment Assistance Program contract renewal with One Source Counseling & Employee Assistance Services;
* Approval of flexible spending accounts as a supplemental benefit for full-time employees including the mayor and council to start on Feb. 1;
* A proposal from PropertyRoom.com to serve as the city's surplus sale company;
* A Web site agreement with Crescent Software LLC for a $500 one-time development charge for the Holly Springs Police Department Web site;
* A proposed Holly Springs branding initiative that would include a staff-designed Logo for branding that would not replace city seal;
* A proposed amendment to regulate the bodywork industry including requirements for persons or establishments related to definitions, licensing process, qualifications, operations;
* A proposal to surplus a doublewide mobile home on property previously owned by the Barnes family and presently owned by the city;
* A proposal for thermoplastic striping for Hickory Road from the Little River Cigar Shop to New Light Church Road; and
* A software contract with Tangent Technologies Inc.
Councilwoman Jacqueline Archer was absent.