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City officials move closer on budget
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
June 07, 2013 01:05 PM | 619 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sandy Springs officials are one step closer to putting their planned fiscal 2014 budget in motion.

Sandy Springs City Council held the first in a series of public hearings on the budget at its regular meeting at City Hall Tuesday.

The hearings come on the heels of council members’ hashing out the solvent city’s fiscal 2014 operating financial plan during a series of workshops.

Council has tentatively adopted an $87.9 million budget for the coming year, with not plans for a tax increase.

“We are happy to have come up with a balanced budget like this,” said District 4 Councilman Gabriel Sterling. “It’s right in line with our priorities, which includes not having a tax increase … there is no need for one.”

That is welcome news to all interested parties in a time when not all news concerning the city’s finances is positive.

Due to slow growth in the housing market, property taxes are lower than the current fiscal year’s collections.

Based on operating budget assumptions, the city’s overall decline in revenues — property tax and franchise fees — amounts to nearly $3 million.

Of the final $87.9 million budget total, about $22.5 million has been earmarked for capital improvement projects. The latter sum includes $13.5 million to be allocated for implementation of the City Center Phase I project and another $5.4 million to go toward transportation infrastructure.

Approximately $3 million has been pledged to the city’s road paving initiative.

The selected roadways have been singled out and rated by an independent firm hired to scrutinize and gauge all roads within the city’s borders every three-plus years.

“It’s a high priority for us to have our roads in good condition,” said Councilwoman Dianne Fries.

“There are roads that you can resurface, and then there are roads that are in bad enough shape that they have to be rebuilt,” she added. “We don’t want to let our roads that simply need to be resurfaced to fall into the other category.”

Officials anticipate holding a final hearing and adopting the city’s fiscal 2014 budget June 18.

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