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Avondale Estates City Commission adopts amended budget

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Avondale Estates City Commission adopts amended budget

Avondale Estates. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Sara Amis, contributor 

Avondale Estates, GA — Avondale Estates City Commission adopted an amended 2021 budget along with the 2022 budget at their regular meeting on December 20. The meeting was held via Zoom due to a positive COVID case at the Avondale Estates City Hall.

The amended 2021 budget revenues and expenditures will be about $48,000 more than the original budget, due to the recycling program and tree maintenance removal as part of the tree inventory both being more than expected. However, revenues also increased enough that the budget remains balanced.

“If you look where we have put residents’ dollars, it has been into things that are important to the city,” said Mayor Pro Tem Brian Fisher.

The 2022 budget will be about $500,000 more than the 2021 budget. The city is adding four new staff positions, Salaries for four new staff positions–a capital projects manager, a stormwater manager, a landscape manager and an administrative analyst–contribute part of the increase.

The city also appointed members to Avondale’s Downtown Development Authority, the Ethics Board, the Lake Avondale Advisory Board, the Planning, Architectural, and Zoning Board, and the Tree Board.

Downtown Development Authority members are Dave Deiters, Jennifer Joyner, Walter Barineau, and City Commissioner Lisa Shortell. All terms will expire on December 31, 2025, except for Commissioner Shortell whose term is concurrent with her board term.

Both Fisher and Mayor Jonathan Elmore praised the work of the DDA over the last two years.

The mayor reappointed Josh Norris to the Ethics Board, while the Board of Mayor and Commissioners reappointed Brent Hudspeth, with terms expiring December 2026.

Chris MacArthur and Barbara Seal were reappointed to posts 4 and 5 of the Lake Avondale Advisory Board, with terms expiring December 31, 2023.

Two additions to the Planning, Architectural and Zoning Board along with the existing members are Kirk Benson and Luis Suazo. The terms for these two new board positions will expire December 31, 2025.

Four current members of the Arboretum Board,  Christi Granger, Brad Jones, Tracy McLendon, and Steve Sanchez, were appointed to vacancies on the Tree Board. Six other applicants were also appointed: James Darnell, Susie Deiters, Katherine Hendrix, Lindsey Marcec, Bill Jones, and Tryon Rosser.

In addition, the city reappointed Stephen W. Nicolas as Chief Municipal Judge and Josephine Stevens as the Avondale Estates City Solicitor.

In other news, the city also conducted first readings of an amendment to the existing tree ordinance and a draft of a newly revised sign code. The amendment to the tree ordinance requires a permit before removing trees and raises the desired tree canopy from 40% to 50%.

Reporter Zoe Seiler contributed to this story. 

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