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Oakwoods 2008 finances get good report from Winder firm
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OAKWOOD — Oakwood’s 2008 finances have gotten a clean bill of health from Winder-based accounting firm Hawkins & McNair.

“Everything looked good,” said Jerry Hawkins said last week. “I had no problem locating documentation and everybody was very cooperative.”

The city’s fiscal year runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, unlike many Georgia governments that line their spending years with the state’s July 1-June 30 year.

Hawkins noted that the city took on extra debts last year as it embarked on its ambitious Oakwood 2030, a plan to eventually remake and redevelop an older section of the city, and costs related to the Thurmon Tanner Parkway.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is working to extend the four-lane Thurmon Tanner from Plainview Road to Mundy Mill Road, work that is expected to be completed in December 2010.

“But I don’t see any problem with you servicing that debt,” Hawkins told City Council in a meeting Monday night.

Hawkins, whose firm does internal reviews for a number of other cities, also said he noticed where “revenues are falling off because of the economy,” but he noted that wasn’t unusual in this economic climate.

City Manager Stan Brown, fresh off a six-month deployment to Iraq as an Air Force reservist, said upon his return last month that one of his early plans is to “take a good, hard look at (this year’s city) budget, that we’re comfortable with all that.”

He added, “We’re not in a situation where we have to furlough anybody — we’re able to maintain operations — but at the same time, things that are capital-type projects, we may have to look at schedules on those.”

In November, City Council approved a $3.2 million general-fund budget for 2009.

Expenses for 2009 are up $348,103 from $2.8 million in the city’s 2008 budget. The tax rate, 2.48 mills, didn’t change, with 1 mill equal to $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value and property assessed at 40 percent.

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