White City Council approves 2014 budget
by Jason Lowrey
Dec 03, 2013 | 630 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
White’s budget for 2014 will be $440,000, as approved by the city council Monday night.

City Manager Jane Richards said the budget was roughly the same as 2013.

“It’s very similar to last year’s. I tweaked it just a little bit because I looked at what we had taken in and what we spent for this year and how to use that as a template,” she said.

The 2014 budget predicts $180,000 in Local Option Sales Tax; $11,500 in title ad valorem tax; and $110,000 in fines and forfeitures, among other revenues. Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax disbursements include a budgeted $500,000 for the phase II sewer project; $200,000 for general water and sewer projects, and $200,000 for general road projects. In particular, Richards said, the council may need to revisit additional paving projects in 2014.

“That’s something that we’re going to have to look at next year is our streets,” she said. “We got one paved this year, out here at School Street. But I noticed there are kind of cracks [elsewhere] and we’re not the only ones having this problem if you look around the county. So we need to look at that in the spring.”

In addition to approving the 2014 budget, the council also approved amendments to the 2013 budget. The amendments compensated for approximately $10,000 more than expected revenues in franchise fees.

The alcohol resolutions approved on the Nov. 5 ballot were tabled until the January meeting. City Attorney Boyd Pettit said he was still drawing up the necessary ordinances for the alcohol pouring ordinance.

“I talked to Jane tonight about that, but I’m still working on the amended ordinance that you have to pass to allow for consumption on the premises and then also make [a] provision that allows in the ordinance that you set the fees for the various licenses by resolution. I’ll prepare for you the resolution setting those fees in accordance with what you just said. I’ll have that for you,” he said. “I’m going to send a copy of that and let [Richards] look at some samples of consumption on premises language.”

The council also approved the bid-taking process for the sewer project. City Engineer John Sweitzer will now be able to advertise for bids on the project. Richards said the city was “under the gun” to get the bidding process done, as the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority has required the city to give a notice to proceed on the project by Jan. 20. GEFA will loan the city the necessary interim financing for construction of the sewer project.

Other city council business included:

• Approving $50 gift cards or checks for city employees and officials as Christmas gifts.

• Approving the results of the Nov. 5 election. Re-elected city officials will likely be sworn in at the council’s January meeting.

• Held an executive session where no action was taken.

The White City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. at city hall.