FY2013 Duluth Budget to be Adopted
Adoption of proposed FY2013 city budget on agenda for June 11 Duluth City Council meeting.
The Duluth City Council was scheduled to adopt the proposed FY2013 budget during its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 11. The new budget goes into effect July 1, 2012, and continues through June 30, 2013.
The draft General Fund operating budget totals $20.4 million, a 6.5 percent increase over the amended FY2012 General Fund budget of $19.2 million.
City Manager Tim Shearer presented a budget summary at a public hearing on the budget during the council’s May 14 meeting. His summary included the following highlights by department in the proposed FY2013 budget:
- Iron Sky Camera system.
- E911 will interface with Gwinnett County for reduced dispatch time.
- Adds part-time records tech.
- Changes Maintenance Worker I from part-time to full time.
Planning and Economic Development
- Comprehensive Plan 5-year update.
- Completes Unified Land Development Code.
- Reallocates employee time to provide full-time City Hall receptionist to better serve the public.
- New Data Backup/Disaster Recovery System to restore city operations.
Parks and Recreation
- Hires Maintenance Worker I.
- Brings baseball leagues in-house.
- Expands programs in Festival Center and at W.P. Jones Activity Center.
Capital improvement projects highlighted by Shearer in the FY2013 budget summary included:
- Hospital Connector Design and Right-of-Way
- W.P. Jones Activity Building
- Boat Ramp at Rogers Bridge Park
- Buford Highway Medians Design
- SR 120 Realignment Design
- Paving Bunten Road Park Trails
- Western Gwinnett Bikeway
- Hill Community Sidewalks and Drainage
- Road Resurfacing
In order to balance the revenue and expenses in the General Fund budget, the city plans to use $3.7 million in prior year reserve funds. The city is continuing to maintain a four-month reserve, about $6.8 million.
The FY2013 General Fund budget also includes about $175,000 in contingency funds for the mayor and council to allocate for emergencies or unexpected expenses.
The tax millage rate will be set probably later in June after the city receives and reviews its tax digest from Gwinnett County. An anticipated decrease of slightly over $700,000 in property tax revenue has been budgeted for FY2013.
Duluth’s complete FY2013 budget amounts to $73.5 million. This includes the General Fund, Capital Projects, Other Funds and Stormwater Utility Funds. Because the city’s budget is balanced, an equal amount of expenses are budgeted.
Capital Projects account for $50.4 million in FY2013 compared to $9.4 million in FY2012. The difference is the result of the city’s changing the way it budgets capital projects. Instead of budgeting for the cost of a capital project anticipated in a year, the entire cost for the length of the project has been budgeted.
The amended FY2012 budget benefited from a one-time payment of $2.4 million from Gwinnett County as the result of the Service Delivery Strategy settlement. The FY2013 budget includes $972,808 in SDS settlement funds. The city will continue to receive payments from the county for five to seven years.
Duluth taxpayers will see a drop in their tax bills of about 1.6 mills as a result of the SDS settlement.
A copy of the draft budget is available for viewing at www.duluthga.net. Charts depicting anticipated revenue and proposed expenses in the FY2013 budget accompany this article.