After announcing earlier this month that they’d lower the millage to the rollback rate of 5.585, Jefferson City leaders have made it official.

The city council approved the rollback rate, along with an $11.56 million FY2021 budget, at its Sept. 28 meeting.

Leaving the rate at 5.75, which the city used for last year’s budget, would have constituted a property tax increase for Jefferson residents due to an increase in the county tax digest this year. Mayor pro-tem Clint Roberts thanked the council for reducing the millage. 

"I know in these times a lot of folks out there are going to appreciate the rollback," he said. 

As for the budget, the $11.56 million spending plan marks a 0.78 percent drop from the FY2020 budget.

COUNCIL MEMBER DISPLEASED WITH ELECTION LAW

Mark Mobley said he was displeased with a law that stipulates that a councilperson running for mayor must resign his or her council seat to do so. Jon Howell recently vacated his council post to pursue the vacant mayor’s seat.

Mobley said that had two council members decided to do so, the city would have been unable to function due to a lack of a voting quorum.

“If we had two, the City of Jefferson would have been out of business from the time that we had qualifying until January,” he said.

Howell’s former council seat is unoccupied while Roberts, as mayor pro-tem, is conducting meetings in place of Steve Quinn, who resigned as mayor in August due to an out-of-city move. Roberts does not have a vote unless to break a tie.

“We basically have two different districts in the city that don’t have a vote right now,” Mobley said.

Mobley asked about changing the rule, but the stipulation is state law.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business, the council:

•approved a rezoning from residential to a planned community development for a 90-unit single-family residential subdivision on 52.92 acres on Peachtree Rd. for Heritage Homes.

•approved a rezoning request for Sterling Residential from residential to multi-family residential for a 45-unit, 55-and-older community with attached, single-family ranch houses.

•approved its annual comprehensive plan update, which has been OK’d by the state.

•approved proposed budget adjustments of $500 for its downtown sign project fund to account for donations; $164,935 to move money originally slated for Gordon St. for paving on Jett Roberts Rd.; and $8,000 to repurpose funds to build a structure over the historic calaboose (the old jail).

•denied a variance request to reduce a 30-foot side building setback to 10 feet on 3.03 acres on Benton Rd and Old Pendergrass Rd. The applicant wanted to construct an accessory building.

•approved a conditional use permit to allow an engineering contractor business in the downtown district on College St. and East Minden Ave.

•approved a rezone request from highway commercial to light industrial by Tamarack Investments to allow for an industrial facility.

•approved a request to terminate a conservation easement on property owned by LPF One Braselton, LLC. The easement existed when Tiger Direct occupied the building on the property. The current tenant, Amazon, needs access to the easement for parking and a driveway. To address the council’s traffic concerns, Amazon will create a double entrance lane into the area and will provide striping and signage for a no-stopping zone along Hog Mountain Rd. The no-stopping zone would prevent traffic from blocking the entrance and keeping trucks from turning left into the driveway.

•approved a policy to evaluate the city manager.

•accepted the nomination of Beth Jarrett to the historic preservation commission to serve another two-year term.

•discussed placing bollards in a no-parking zone at Memorial Stadium to prevent vehicles parking there. Parked vehicles in that spot block the view for pedestrians crossing the street, according to Mobley.

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