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The city of Avondale Estates will soon have a new finance director

Avondale Estates Trending

The city of Avondale Estates will soon have a new finance director

The Avondale Estates City Commission met on Nov. 21. Pictured left to right are: City Clerk Gina Hill, City Manager Patrick Bryant, Mayor Jonathan Elmore, Mayor Pro Tem Brian Fisher, Commissioner Lisa Shortell, Commissioner Dee Merriam and Commissioner Lionel Laratte. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Avondale Estates, GA — The city of Avondale Estates has been without a full-time finance director since March and has been using two consultants to handle the work in the interim.

But at the Nov. 21 Avondale Estates City Commission meeting, City Manager Patrick Bryant announced that the city has found a person for the job, and they will be taking over on Dec. 5.

The city hired Mercer Group Associates in August to find the new finance director after two unsuccessful searches for the position.

Commissioners agreed that’s good news for the city. During their meeting, commissioners approved an additional $30,000 for Beth Mahany, a contractor who is assisting with financial operations while the city awaits the arrival of its new finance director. Bryant said the amount is needed in case it takes a little longer to bring the new finance director up to speed.

In other business:

— The city commission awarded $100,000 to Stantec for services related to the U.S. 278 “road diet” project.

“The appropriation of $100,000 is to enter into a contract with our current design firm for design costs they incurred during the right-of-way acquisition process,” Bryant explained. 

Commissioners said the additional costs were not a surprise.

“I think we all expected there was going to be some of this,” Commissioner Lisa Shortell said. “It’s the nature of a long, multi-year project.” 

— During the work session, the commission discussed a 2021 budget amendment, the 2023-2024 capital program and the 2023 operating budget. Commission approval is required for these items. The commissioners will need to amend the 2021 budget, which includes a $7,882 amendment for professional services, $7,822 in additional motor vehicle revenue and $584,374 to recognize American Rescue Plan Act money the city received in 2021. The city will need to record $29,523 in depreciation and vehicle maintenance expenses.

The 2023-2024 capital program and 2023 operating budget are two different items related to the same city budget package.

The city received $1.2 million in ARPA funds in 2021 and 2022, Bryant said. The capital program includes $400,000 in ARPA money the city budgeted as a placeholder for work to the city’s plazas. The city decided to instead spend $200,000 of that money for landscaping and redesign of plazas and other public spaces on U.S. 278. The city is going to spend the other $200,000 on a branding campaign and on a survey project.

Bryant said the city needs the survey project to determine what property the city owns and what property the city doesn’t own.

“We want to make sure the surveys and deeds match up, so we can determine cleanly what the city owns and what is private property,” Bryant said. “The reason for doing this is, within the past couple of years we have found working on individual projects that property we believed we owned we did not own and property we believed to be private was public.”

This would primarily apply to alleys and right of ways, Bryant said.

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