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Avondale Estates City Commission approves budget and funds capital program

Avondale Estates Crime and public safety Trending

Avondale Estates City Commission approves budget and funds capital program

L to R: City Manager Patrick Bryant, Mayor Jonathan Elmore and commissioners Brian Fisher, Lisa Shortell and Lionel Laratte. Photo by Sara Amis

By Sara Amis, contributor

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission approved the city’s $5.3 million operating budget for 2023 and a $13.9 million capital program budget at its regular meeting on Dec. 19.

The city’s projected operating budget is balanced exactly with projected revenues. The board made one change to the budget, which was to remove $5,000 from community activities and create a $5,000 line item for boards and committees.

The capital program budget includes a cash balance of $9,248,00 in January 2023 and projected revenues of $6,916,918. Expenditures include acquiring $1,849,000 in property for the Washington Street extension, $9,558,305 in road projects, and $1,617,100 in stormwater projects.

In other business:

— The city commission formally denied a claim for damages by Jermarcus Wheeler, in response to an assertion that Wheeler was injured in an auto accident involving an Avondale Estates police officer and vehicle. The alleged incident occurred May 24, 2022, in unincorporated DeKalb County. The city declared in a resolution that after an investigation of incident reports and GPS locations for patrol cars, it was determined that no Avondale Estates officers or vehicles were involved in the incident.

“Mr. Wheeler was involved in a traffic accident in unincorporated DeKalb County as a result of pursuit by law enforcement of another vehicle,” said Avondale Estates City Manager Patrick Bryant. “Mr. Wheeler sent around notices to multiple jurisdictions around DeKalb County to see if their jurisdiction was in fact involved in that traffic accident. We had no involvement in the matter, we were not involved in the pursuit and were not on scene.”

— The city commission re-appointed Stephen Nicholas as Municipal Court Judge, and Josephine Stevens as City Solicitor. Nicholas is paid $1,250 monthly, while Stevens is paid $800 per month to perform their respective duties.

— The board appointed Bill Hover to the Historic Preservation Commission and Dan Marcec to the Planning,Architecture, and Zoning Board.

Commissioner Lisa Shortell said that additional vacancies are likely to open up on both boards.

— The city commission adopted its official meeting schedule for 2023. Bryant stated that the schedule is essentially the same as the 2022 schedule, wherein November and December meetings will be shifted to accommodate Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

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