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Gainesville budget for 2010 projects on target
Remaining $2.15M isnt yet designated for specific work, may be used in fiscal year 2012
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Other business

The Gainesville City Council also:

— Discussed concerns about downtown parking and ways to increase the number of retail businesses."The merchants who care are very concerned about the merchants who park in front of their stores all the time," Councilwoman Myrtle Figueras said. "... The problem with parking downtown is that people choose to park in front of their own stores."

— Heard from Mayor Ruth Bruner on concerns about several bills going through the General Assembly. She noted one House bill that would cap property tax assessments.

"Columbus has gone down that road and it's been horrible for them," Bruner said.

— Heard from Bruner on Tuesday's Georgia Senate committee hearing on proposed immigration legislation.

She cited the 287(g) federal immigration enforcement program, which allows local officials to check the immigration status of those arrested for other crimes.

"We need to be real aware of these immigration bills and how they affect this community, almost more than any other place in the state," Bruner said.

Jeff Gill

Gainesville City Council is closing the books on fiscal 2010 projects, leaving a balance of about $2.5 million.

Finance officials presented the numbers to council members during a work session Thursday morning, with resolutions on each of the closed accounts set for a Tuesday vote.

Nearly $350,000 of that total is already earmarked, such as in the 2011 budget year, which ends June 30.

The remaining $2.15 million has yet to be designated for specific work or will likely will be considered as part of fiscal 2012, which begins July 1, officials said.

The leftover money is about "on target of what we anticipated," City Manager Kip Padgett said following the meeting.

For example, public utilities projects have a 10 percent contingency fund, or extra money set aside for unexpected project changes. The city had $1.6 million remaining, or about 11.2 percent, from about $14 million in projects in 2010.

As for general capital projects, the city ended with a $366,684 surplus, with $19,246 of that returned to an employee benefits fund and $158,353 being used in this year's budget.

"That's already put in place for street improvement projects," Finance Director Melody Marlowe said.

"We'll use (the remaining money ) as we sit down and prepare the 2012 capital budget," she added. "That's a funding source for us to consider."

Generally speaking, the city has money set aside for specific purposes, such as expenses at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport.

"The use of leftover funds has to stay for those specific purposes," Marlowe said.

The city had $23,515 left over from 2010 for projects in the city's previous Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax program - voters approved a six-year extension in 2009 - but that excess must be spent on the old SPLOST projects.

In other business, the city will be considering a resolution to pave North Avenue, Glenwood Avenue and Lenox Drive. The project amount is $125,000.

That work replaces an earlier plan to repave Bank Street, Grove Street, High Street and Pine Street, "which were primarily taken care of during the construction of the public safety complex," said Stan Aiken of the city's public works department.

"The portions that were not resurfaced as part of that rate much higher" than conditions of North Avenue, Glenwood Avenue and Lenox Drive, he added.