Most of the money, $2.9 million, will come from the 2013 capital projects budget.
The money reflects departmental savings, not funds that are earmarked for projects that are as yet unspent, said city spokeswoman Julie Brechbill.
Another $200,000 is from revenues collected in excess of what had been projected, and there is a $100,000 in the reserve fund above the three months of operating funds always set aside for emergencies.
“Every year when we project revenues, we project really conservatively. At the end of the year, when it is all tallied up, nine times out of 10 we have money left over that we can use for capital pr general fund items,” Brechbill said.
“We made a lot of really good adjustments during the recession and now we’re seeing the benefit of that as the economy returns,” said Councilman Rich Dippolito.
All of those unspent dollars could be added to the budget the city uses to pay for capital improvement projects, Dippolito said.
Though $3.2 million seems like a significant chunk of cash, that total isn’t out of the ordinary, according to Mayor Jere Wood.
“It usually runs about $3 million, and typically we have always used that as reserves for capital projects,” he said.
Because capital bond projects were authorized by voter referendum, that allowed the city to save those funds for other uses, the mayor said.
Among the potential projects that he would like to see the surplus spent on next year is the completion of the Sun Valley Connector between Ga. Hwy 9 and Mansell Road.
“We already have the rights-of-way for that,” Wood said.
Another would be partnering with Cobb County to replace the bridge on Willeo Road at Lower Roswell Road with one that’s wider and offers pedestrian access.
In general, however, as he prepares his recommended city budget for the upcoming year, the mayor said he will be championing certain types of projects.
“I’m trying to focus on transportation projects that support redevelopment,” he said.