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Flowery Branch to discuss '12 budget
Officials set for reviews this month; draft budget presentation slated for May 5
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Flowery Branch is gearing up for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

City Manager Bill Andrew is scheduled to discuss the upcoming budget process at the City Council's meeting, which is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 5517 Main St.

City officials, including public works and police, are set for budget reviews this month, and a draft budget is slated to be presented at the council's May 5 meeting, according to a city budget calendar.

A public hearing is set for the council's May 19 meeting. Budget review or approval is set for June 2 and 16.

The South Hall city is operating this year with a $5.5 million budget, including $3.6 million in its general fund and $1.9 million for water and sewer operations.

That budget marked a 2.1 decrease from the previous year's overall budget, which was $5.62 million.

Flowery Branch is like other governments, weathering a difficult economy, but its revenue situation improved somewhat last year - at least to the extent that it ended monthly employee furloughs.

Area government officials are generally worried about the upcoming budget year, with a drop in Hall County's tax digest, or list of taxable properties.

"This upcoming year may be the most difficult budget year local governments have ever faced," said Jock Connell, Hall County's interim county administrator.

He spoke at a March 30 meeting at the Mulberry Creek Community Center in South Hall involving area officials, the Hall County Board of Assessors and the Hall County Tax Commissioner's Office.

The one uptick at that meeting was digest values showed a slight increase for Flowery Branch now that the Atlanta Falcons' tax exemption on its complex off Falcon Parkway and Hog Mountain Road has expired.

In other business at Thursday's meeting, the City Council will consider a beer, wine and distilled spirits application for UMME Group LLC, which is opening Knuckleheads Sports Pub & Eatery at 5466 McEver Road.