Gainesville budget - 5 things to know
- $30.3 million general fund budget is up from $29.8 million this year.
- No property tax increases are included.
- Merit raises for city employees included in budget.
- Funding priorities include road projects and transportation plan implementation.
- Public safety services once again account for more than half of the general fund budget.
Gainesville City Council has approved a land swap between the city and the school district.
The Gainesville Middle School ballfield will now be operated by the city’s parks department while the school district will assume control of Ivey Watson Field at Lanier Point Park and Athletic Complex.
Gainesville High School teams have been using Ivey Watson Field for some time, and for this reason City Manager Kip Padgett said the transfer made sense.
Councilwoman Ruth Bruner called the swap a “win-win” for the city and school district.
Mayor Danny Dunagan echoed those sentiments.
“It’s all about our children,” he said.
Gainesville City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a $30.3 million budget for the 2015 fiscal year, which includes no tax increases.
The tax rate remains at $3.06 per $1,000 of taxable property.
The council also set the tax rate for the city school board. It remains fixed at $7.59 per $1,000 of taxable property.
The city budget includes additional investments in capital spending, such as a $3 million transfer from the general fund.
Additionally, $325,000 will be transferred from the city’s hotel/motel tax fund to support capital costs.
In total, the budget includes $5.16 million for capital projects, including $1.3 million for road and stormwater upgrades, and $500,000 to implement the city’s transportation plan.
Public safety services once again account for more than half the general fund budget, totaling about $15.5 million in spending.
Meanwhile, total employee benefits are projected to cost about $9.2 million next year, up from about $7.52 million. The increase is due largely to merit raises budgeted for some city employees.
The city’s total debt entering the new fiscal year, which includes payments owed on the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, downtown parking deck and jail, is $19.9 million.
No public comment was given during the two budget hearings this month.