Senoia pitches $2.8M budget with revenue on the upswing

Senoia residents Monday night heard the first reading of the proposed FY 2014 general fund that totals $2.482 million. The increase in revenues from FY 2013 is due largely to factors such as the small increase in residential construction. The budget is expected to be adopted Dec. 16.

City Administrator Richard Ferry said the FY 2013 revenues of $2.280 million are expected to increase to $2.482 million in FY 2014, a difference of approximately $202,000.

Marginal revenue increases in areas such as property reassessments and Local Option Sales Tax receipts is expected to result in a small increase in the revenue side of the general fund budget for 2014, Ferry said.

“As the real estate market begins to recover, assessments in Senoia have begun to rise again. Assessments in the city increased by $1,117,000,” Ferry said of the increase in revenues compared to that of previous years when the city experienced steady residential growth.

A significant increase on the expenditures side of the budget is the 23 percent increase in the city’s Worker’s Compensation policy and a 7 percent increase from the city’s liability carrier. Those increases total $36,700.

The police budget reflects a $55,400 increase to hire an additional officer and the equipment need to outfit the officer.

The highway and street administration department budget for 2014 is proposed to include the hire of additional staff and a vehicle purchase at $112,200. That position is currently vacant and will remain so until the appropriate person is found, Ferry said.

The proposed FY 2014 budget comes with the recommendation that the current millage rate be unchanged for 2014.

The city’s water fund for FY 2014 is proposed at $937,000, a 10.77 percent increase from the $845,900 budget this year. A smaller increase is proposed for the sewer fund, currently at $665,000. The FY 2014 budget proposal has that amount at $703,500.

Ferry said an increase in the water and sewer rates may be necessary to cover operation and maintenance expenses and debt service. City management will need to monitor revenue projections closely in the enterprise funds to ensure proper coverage, Ferry added.

Pertaining to the water fund, Ferry said an additional cost to the fund is due to debt service requirements from the 2005 Ga. Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) loan on the Heritage Pointe water tank and wells.

Posted for first reading on Monday, the second reading and approval is expected at the Dec. 16 meeting.