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New capital budget to up Flowery Branch spending
Tax increase not expected in proposed $6M budget
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Flowery Branch is preparing to roll out its fiscal year 2013 budget, with no tax rate increase or rollup expected for the South Hall city’s residents.

The total budget will run about $6 million, featuring expenses for general operations, sewer and water, and capital projects, City Manager Bill Andrew said after Thursday night’s City Council meeting.

He brought up the topic during the meeting, saying copies of the budget would be available to the public next week and that a public hearing has been set for May 17.

The budget also will be posted on the city’s website, www.flowerybranchga.org.

The council is scheduled to approve the budget June 7, with fiscal year 2013 beginning July 1. The council is operating this year on a $5.1 million budget. Fiscal year 2013’s proposed amount is higher because of the new capital budget.

The city, which has been discussing the need for roads, stormwater and other infrastructure projects, hopes to see its share of local option sales tax money increase because of its rise in population as reflected by the 2010 census.

Also, last year, the government had planned to pull some $190,000 out of reserves to balance the budget.

However, a fee paid to the city for every insurance policy taken out in the city increased to $50 per policy from $25, producing a windfall of $177,000.

“Because of that, we didn’t have to spend (from reserves),” Andrew said. “And (the budget) next year won’t require any money from our reserves.”

Property values, which have fallen sharply for most governments, “are basically flat,” the city manager said.

“We feel like we already went through the assessment process last year and this year we’re being told to expect flat revenues, which is good,” he added. “It’s better than what most people are seeing.”

In other business, the council voted to award a $23,370 contract to Pine Enterprises for a sewer line extension project on McEver Road.

The work is part of an annexation agreement with SKF USA, which is at 5385 McEver Road. The bearing manufacturer will connect to Flowery Branch’s sewer system later this year with SKF agreeing to pursue annexation by September 2017. The city will make sewer available by June 30 and begin providing 8,600 gallons per day of sewer capacity upon SKF paying $47,300 in tap fees.

SKF’s portion of the project involves installation of a 2,600-foot service line, City Planner James Riker said.
The city’s work, which was expected to cost $46,000, should be completed in 30-60 days.

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