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Douglasville council deep into 2014 budget hearings
by Liz Marino
June 05, 2013 10:49 AM | 1515 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Douglasville City Council is meeting this week with city department heads and finance director Karin Callan to discuss the 2014 fiscal year budget.

In the council’s May 30 committee meeting, City Manager Bill Osborne said that “the budget to be represented will be extremely tight.”

“We’re looking at some costs,” he said, including some police officers whose salaries will be coming off grants this year and the conference center, which he said “will be hit with the first big payment next year.”

Budget discussions will continue through this week, with a legal notice to be published June 9 and a public hearing to be held on the budget June 17. A vote on the 2014 fiscal year budget is expected to be taken on June 27.

The city’s fiscal year begins on July 1.

The city council is also set to vote on the compensation for elected officials at its regular voting meeting June 17. A public hearing is scheduled to take place during the council’s work session on June 13.

Whatever the council decides following lengthy deliberation that dates back to earlier this year, the compensation will not go into effect until January 2014.

A groundbreaking is set for Friday at 8 a.m. for the completion of the Bright Star Connector project that has been a source of dissension between the city and county since the road project was tentatively completed three years ago. The county cited safety issues regarding turn lanes which fall within the county’s portion of the project. The groundbreaking will be a joint event with both city and county elected officials participating, said Mayor Harvey Persons.

According to Douglasville Development Director Jeff Noles, the orange barrels placed by the county will come down and the project is expected to be completed in about 60 days.

The Douglasville City Council passed two resolutions Monday night regarding the lighting and mowing and maintenance for the area surrounding the Hwy. 92 relocation project.

The agreement states that GDOT will be responsible for construction, installation and materials for the lighting expenses, while the city will be responsible for energy, operation and maintenance expenses of the road project, which runs from I-20 and Highway 92 and ends at Malone Street and Dallas Highway.

In addition, the city council approved an agreement with GDOT concerning right of way mowing and maintenance of landscaping along the planned Hwy. 92 corridor. Under the agreement, GDOT will be responsible for construction, installation and materials for the landscape until the contractor has completed the project. The city will then be responsible for its mowing and maintenance.

“We are moving quickly as road projects go,” Noles told the council May 30. “We are getting into the fiscal cycle and right-of-way completion to get the project under way. We are going into an agreement that we will maintain the right of way in our jurisdiction. GDOT is trying to get out of right of way maintenance.”

He added, “GDOT will install lighting at its expense, but the local government will have to maintain and support the electric bill.”

Noles said that it could be three years before lighting is installed within the new Hwy. 92 corridor, but when it is, “it will be the latest and greatest technology in LED lighting.”

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