Updated: July 1, 2012
The amendments proposed by council member Jeanne Aulbach have been added to this article.
After three meetings and two public hearings the Peachtree Corners City Council approved its FY 2013 budget at Thursday's (June 28) Special Called Meeting held at the YMCA.
The $2.7 million budget had been a subject of controversy since it was first introduced. Many residents were aghast that a city that was to provide only three services would need that much to operate.
The final vote was 6-1 with Post 3 council member, Alex Wright, voting against the budget explaining, "I think we could have accomplished our goals with a little lower number than the $2.7 million."
Post 4 council member Jeanne Aulbach offered an amendment to the budget, that while did not reduce the bottom line, did soften the blow by recommending the reduction of several line items and moving the funds to the city's reserve fund.
The Council passed the amendment which reduced the budget in the following categories:
- Call Center: Original budget $100,000, reduced to $60,000
- Comprehensive Plan: Original budget: $100,000, reduced to $75,000
- Website, Branding, etc: Original budget: $70,000, reduced to $60,000
- Servers, Computers, etc: Original budget: $100,000, reduced to $75,000
"I wanted to put in place controls in the budget that would allow the reserve to be built up quickly but allow some flexibility for emergencies," she explained.
"We want to reassure the citizens of Peachtree Corners that we take our responsibility seriously that their money is spent wisely," she added.
Mayor Mike Mason also announced that after recalculating the expected property tax revenue, the millage rate, first expected to be at the full 1 millage rate would be reduced to .85 mils.
That translates that for a $250,000 home the reduction in millage rate lowers the property taxes from $10.00 to $8.50 per month.
Below is the amendments to the budget proposed by council member Jeanne Aulbach which were approved by the City Council.
Mid-Year Budget Review. In January of 2013, the City Council shall conduct a mid-year review of revenues and expenditures to date. The purpose of this review is to make any needed adjustments to the budget based on the best information available. At that time, any unused budget balances where the cost is knowable and is exceeded by the budgeted amount will be transferred to the Undesignated Reserve.
Zero-Based Budget for FY2014. When formulating the FY2014 Budget, the City Council will utilize a zero-based budgeting process.
Fund Balance Reserve. The City Council recognizes that best financial practices call for the creation of an undesignated fund balance reserve. The purpose of the fund balance reserve is
- Cover expenditures caused by unforeseen emergencies
- Provide an offset to shortfalls caused by a decline in revenues
- Eliminate short-term borrowing for cash flow purposes
- Serve as the basis for establishing a future rating by the credit agencies
- Utilized for other legitimate purposes determined by the City Council
Any funds not expended during the fiscal year shall automatically transfer to the fund balance reserve. Such funds shall be utilized for the purposes designated above only by a majority vote of the City Council.
Millage Rate Reset. When formulating the FY2014 Budget, the City Council will review the balance in reserves, the amount of revenue from property taxes and other revenue streams as well as expected expenses. If possible, the City Council will reduce the millage rate to reflect the amount necessary to make make up the difference between the other revenue streams, expected expenses and any contribution needed for reserves.