Emerson considers FY2015 budget
by Neil McGahee
Jun 10, 2014 | 846 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Emerson City Council held its first reading of the fiscal year 2015 budget, a compilation of the general, water, solid waste and confiscated assets funds and the capital budget.

The general fund budget is 2.4 percent higher this year, mainly due to increased revenues from permitting and licensing fees. It is perfectly balanced with revenues totaling $1,354,600 and the same amount in expenditures. The water fund also balanced with total expenditures and revenues even at $1,068,792 each. All other funds were also balanced.

Each council member was given a copy of the proposed budget to study before the second reading when it comes up for a vote on June 23.

Seven rezoning requests — three first readings and four second readings — for approximately 9 acres of property on Allatoona Dam Road were heard. All but one was approved.

A previously postponed decision concerning commercial rezoning of Red Top Mountain Road property ran out of time.

At the council’s April 29 meeting, a request was made to change two acres on Red Top Mountain Road from residential to C-1 commercial.

Feeling unprepared to make a decision, council delayed the vote until the June meeting — council did not meet on May 26, due to the Memorial Day holiday — but someone failed to notice that Georgia zoning law requires a vote to be taken within 45 days of the delay.

“The decision was made in error,” said City Manager Kevin McBurnett. “By postponing the decision, we failed to take into account the holiday and that pushed us past the zone laws, which require a public hearing within 45 days. Now we must rerun the ad, then schedule a public hearing within 45 days.”

In other business, council:

• heard a request from the Masonic Lodge to exempt them from the new trash pickup law because they don’t produce enough trash.

• answered an inquiry from resident Joe Donahue on whether a foundation promised at a previous meeting by a LakePoint executive could be used to finance at least one police officer’s salary.

“I was here the night they presented the PolerCoaster and I asked about security and he responded they have their own security,” Donahue said. “My concern is the dramatic increase in traffic, such as the one you saw last weekend. He said he would be doing something with his foundation. I assumed he meant something in terms of helping us handle the outside activity. Has he followed through? It seems like the foundation should help pay for an officer.”

Donahue was told that the foundation was created to provide youth sports activities. Expanded police functions will be financed through increased fee and permit revenue.

The Emerson City Council will meet again at city hall Monday, June 23, at 7 p.m.