Toccoa City Commission Expected to Approve Budget Today

Toccoa City Commissioners are expected to take a final vote on the city’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget at their meeting today (May 20).

Commissioners held a first reading of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget at their last meeting on May 6.

The proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget presented two weeks ago totals just over $32 million. According to Toccoa City Manager Mike Jackson, that represents an increase of $2.2 million, or about 7.5 percent, over the current fiscal year.

Jackson said much of the increase in the proposed budget can be attributed to the gas and water funds. The proposed budget shows an increase of over 17 percent in the gas fund and over 7 percent in the water fund.

Regarding the gas fund, Jackson said the increase there can be attributed to the Highway 17 gas line relocation and slightly higher revenue projections from the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia. Meanwhile, Jackson said the increase in the water fund is due to an increase in the water rate for county water customers.

The proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget calls for no change in the millage rate.

The only rate changes in the proposed budget are those commissioners already approved last month. One of those is a 3-cent-per unit hike on gas bills in order to pay for relocating the gas lines along Highway 17. The other rate change increases the water rate for a county customer across the board to 1.25 times the rate of a city customer.

The proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget includes no new personnel, but does provide funding for salary increases. However, Jackson said instead of an across-the-board increase, he wants the city to focus pay increases towards those on the lower end of the city’s pay scale, as well as implement merit-based increases.

The proposed budget also includes funding for some vehicle replacements in the city’s fleet, as well as for some investment in compressed natural gas vehicle technology.

City commissioners are scheduled to start their meeting at 5 p.m. today at Toccoa City Hall.