The Auburn City Council, at its Sept. 5 meeting, approved a balanced $6.17 million total operating budget for Fiscal Year 2020, a slightly less than 12-percent increase from the city’s budgeted expenditures for the current fiscal year.
The city budgeted for just under $5.55 million in revenues and a little more than $5.29 million for FY2019. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
The FY2020 budget includes a General Fund of $3.65 million, up about 12 percent from $3.25 million in FY2019. The police department will make up the largest general fund expenditure at $1.65 million.
The city’s two enterprise funds will see slight increases with the Water Fund going from $2.19 million to $2.41 million and the stormwater fund increasing just $200 to $105,000.
The budget includes a roof replacement for the J.D. Withers building, funding for a full-time buildings and grounds superintendent, the purchase of three vehicles for the public works department and the leasing of an additional vehicle for the police department.
The city anticipates $1.21 million in local-option sales tax (LOST) revenues, with property taxes being the next largest revenue source ($750,000).
The millage rate for the Barrow County portion will remain at 4.931 mills, while the Gwinnett County rate will remain at 4.951 mills.
In other business at its Sept. 5 meeting, the council:
•heard police chief Chris Hodge recognize Officer Breon Rucker and Sgt. Ira Underwood for rescuing a female driver from an overturned vehicle that was on fire on Aug. 25. The driver was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries and was later released.
•approved a new ordinance that gives the city more control over the placement of “mini-cell towers” in public rights-of-way. The ordinance follows state legislation passed earlier this year and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp that is aimed at making it easier for wireless and broadband providers to install the “small cells” on poles in existing rights-of-way, as part of a push to increase broadband access across the state, particularly in rural areas. As part of an agreement reached between the Georgia Municipal Association and the state’s county association and AT&T and Verizon, the law requires wireless companies to receive approval from local governments before placing them in public rights-of-way.
•approved updated rules and regulations for the city-owned Auburn Cemetery. City officials have said the city has had issues with interments being performed without notification to the city and “unsightly” decorations (other than flowers) being left on long-term display. The revisions will also allow families and funeral directors to have a reference when purchasing or preparing a grave space and to allow for more efficient and effective maintenance of the property.