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Decatur City Commission holding budget work session on June 7


Decatur City Commission holding budget work session on June 7

Commissioners, pictured left to right, are: Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers, Lesa Mayer, Kelly Walsh, Mayor Patti Garrett, and George Dusenbury. Photo obtained via the city of Decatur

Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission will meet on Wednesday, June 7, at 5 p.m. for an extended work session on the fiscal year 2023-2024 proposed budgets and the fiscal year 2022-2023 revised budgets. The meeting will be held in person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, and virtually via Zoom.

The proposed 2023-2024 general fund revenues and expenditures are estimated to be about $39.6 million. The general fund estimate is $7.6 million higher than the revised 2022-2023 general fund budget, City Manager Andrea Arnold wrote in the budget message.

The budget was created based on an estimated increase of 5% in the tax digest and proposes no change to the millage rate. However, the tax digest increased by 14% and Arnold will recommend the millage rate be decreased by 0.7 mills. The current millage rate is 13.17 mills.

“I just wanted to make sure that the public knows that we are aware of the increase in the property values and there will be a recommendation to roll back the millage rate accordingly,” Arnold said at the June 5 city commission meeting.

The city commission will hold public hearings on the millage rate on Tuesday, June 13, at 6 p.m. and Tuesday, June 20, at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The final millage rate will be set during the commission’s meeting on June 20.

All meetings will be in-person at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, and virtual options are available.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions:

To view the agenda, click here.

To view the budget documents, click here.

This meeting will be held in-person. Members of the public wishing to view the meeting may attend the
meeting in one of two ways:

1. Attend in-person by coming to Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough St.

2. Register in advance at https://zoom.us/j/95466590309. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You may also participate by phone by calling (929) 205-6099 and entering the meeting ID (The 11-digit number shown in the Zoom registration link.)

NOTE – This meeting will utilize virtual meeting technology. We cannot guarantee it will operate as planned.

Members of the public may also view the live broadcast of the Decatur City Commission meeting at https://www.decaturga.com/citycommission/page/streaming-video

Here are some other highlights of the proposed budgets:

– A recommended use of fund balance from the General Fund in the amount of $4,230,810 for the Revised 2022-2023 General Fund Budget, as compared to $3,883,500 in the Adopted 2022-2023 General Fund Budget; and a use of fund balance in the amount of $5,178,816 for the Proposed 2023-2024 General Fund Budget. ($1,898,825 was added to the fund balance at the end of Fiscal Year 2021-2022.)

– A modest increase of approximately $104,000 (+3%) in the health insurance budget over the 2022-2023 Adopted Budget.

– Increases to all regular, full-time salaries in response to a pay and compression study, including adjustments to a living wage and minimum increase of 8.35% to compete with the job market in addition to compression adjustments.

– Multiple position reclassifications and eleven additional full-time positions.

– Creation of a new Parks and Recreation Department, combining the Active Living division and Children and Youth Services division. The transfer of the Children and Youth Services budget from a separate fund to the General Fund accounts for 35% of the overall budget increase.

– Next steps for the Equity Action Plan, Downtown Master Plan, Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Storm Water Master Plan and Clean Energy Plan.

– Creation of a Community Energy Fund with funding from the City’s energy franchise fee revenue.

– Funding earmarked for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

This year’s Budget as Art Collection features original art work by local artist, Sanithna Phansavanh, titled “Cultivate (2023).”

“The artist uses botanicals that are tended and nurtured to represent caring stewardship,” Arnold wrote in the budget message. “Elected officials and staff share a commitment and responsibility of stewardship for our community and our city organization. The proposed budget cultivates values and priorities that allow us to serve all people in the City of Decatur equitably and with compassion.”

This is the third installment of the Budget as Art Collection. The city began incorporating art into the budget in fiscal year 2021-2022.

“An effective budget is a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications tool,” Arnold told Decaturish. “Over the years, the City has focused on the budget as a communications tool and has worked to make the budget more appealing to community members, all of whom have a stake in the outcome of the annual budget. Incorporating art into the budget document is a way to highlight the vision and values reflected in the city’s budget. And, hopefully, the cover art will invite more people to read what is behind the cover.”

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