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Oakwood passes $6.7M budget for 2013
Council voted to roll up tax rate by .178 mills in October
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Oakwood City Council passed a no-frills 2013 budget Monday night.

Like other governments still enduring the recession’s impact, Oakwood has tightened up on spending while revenues have dropped or flattened.

“We have no projects other than just a couple of police cars to purchase and doing our paving program,” City Manager Stan Brown said. “Basically, we’re just continuing services.”

The council approved a $6.7 million budget, or nearly $3.7 million for its general operations, $2.6 million for its sewer fund and $434,000 for its special purpose local option sales taxes fund.

The new budget year begins Jan. 1.

The council voted in October to set the tax rate at 2.658 mills, up from 2.48, a roll-up to offset a shrinking tax digest.

“Basically, if you look at the declining tax digest based on the reassessment of properties, our digest was down 7 percent this year compared to the previous year,” Brown said in October. “The net impact of that would be about $40,000 reduction in revenue.”

One mill is equal to $1 per $1,000 in assessed taxable property value. Property is assessed at 40 percent in the city.

Oakwood has set several fiscal goals for the new year, including meeting debt obligations on such projects as Thurmon Tanner Parkway, Oakwood Industrial Park and the Upper Mulberry sewer system, according to a city budget document.

The council also voted Monday night to go forward on seeking a Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant from the state Department of Transportation.

The city is entitled to $30,294, which it can receive with a 30 percent match, or nearly $9,000.

Oakwood, however, is looking at going above that, spending a total of $135,205 next year on pavement repairs to Old Oakwood and Flat Creek roads and adding guardrails on sections of Oakwood and Old Oakwood roads.

The amount “is well within the budget you’ve just adopted,” Brown told the council.

Speaking after the meeting, Brown said he sees an uptick in building or redevelopment around the city, which might translate into higher revenues in the coming year.

“I think we’re going to see more of (the activity),” he said. “I’m hopeful that we will.”

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