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Oakwood budget wont change much in 2011
City doesn't anticipate raising taxes despite 'flat' revenue
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Budget session

Oakwood City Council is set to hold its first discussion on the 2011 budget. Here are details:

When: 4 p.m. Monday

Where: City Hall, 4035 Walnut Circle

Contacts: 770-534-2365, city website

With a weak economy still bearing down, Oakwood plans to put forward a 2011 budget Monday evening that may look like a copy from this year.

City Council is set to hold a work session at 4 p.m. at City Hall, 4035 Walnut Circle, on the spending plan.

Last week, City Manager Stan Brown still was crunching numbers and didn't have many details to reveal, adding that he would be ready by the time of Monday's unveiling.

"I don't anticipate a whole lot of change from last year," he said. "We'll still be in a pretty flat situation in terms of revenue. I don't see any issues with operating revenue being able to cover operating revenue.

"We are going to tighten up in a few areas, just to do some cost-control measures."

Last year, the city approved a 2010 budget that netted $3.38 million in revenue, a 2 percent increase over 2008. The city cut spending by 12 percent, or down to $3.17 million.

The good news for taxpayers is that the tax rate is likely to remain the same in 2011 at 2.48 mills, Brown said.

One mill equals $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value. Property is assessed at 40 percent in the city.

City Council plans to cast a vote on the 2011 tax rate at its Oct. 11 meeting, set for 7 p.m. Final approval is scheduled for 4 p.m. Oct. 18.

The city is expected to hold a public hearing on the budget at 6 p.m. Nov. 1, with budget adoption set for Nov. 8.

Tax bills are scheduled to go out Dec. 1, with the budget year set to begin Jan. 1.

The city has weathered the recession better than many governments.

While it hasn't added positions, it hasn't laid off employees, cut back salaries and required employees to take unpaid furlough days.

Growth has slowed, as shown by light Planning Commission agendas, but not stopped.

The city has added businesses even as several have closed, with officials announcing in September that California-based baker King's Hawaiian plans to start up a plant in the fall of 2011.

Also, a new four-lane - the final segment of Thurmon Tanner Parkway between Plainview and Mundy Mill roads - is expected to stir development after it is completed Dec. 31. And the city is building a sewer line along Winder Highway from Martin Road to Braselton.