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Avondale Estates City Commission to hold public hearing on 2024 budget, capital program

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Avondale Estates City Commission to hold public hearing on 2024 budget, capital program

Avondale Estates City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission will hold a regular meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 5:30 p.m., followed by a work session. The meetings will be held at Avondale Estates City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza, and via Zoom.

During the regular meeting, the city commission will hold a public hearing and consider adopting the 2024 operating budget and the 2024-2025 capital program.

To join the meeting via Zoom, click here. To call in, dial +1-646-931-3860. The webinar ID is 872 7673 3555.

To view the meeting agendas, click here.

Public comments can be made either by attending the meeting in-person or through Zoom.

The city has provided two drafts for the 2024 operating budget – one of which anticipates revenue to be generated by a special service district.

A special service district creates a way for the city to generate additional revenue to be spent in the boundaries of the district. The city commission will also consider a resolution on Wednesday night that would create the district, but would not set the millage rate.

The special service district would encompass downtown Avondale Estates and would mean an additional tax would be levied on commercial property owners in that district to generate revenue for transportation and stormwater projects in downtown.

The city commission would set the millage rate for the special service district in June. The commission hasn’t made a final decision on what that rate would be, but they have discussed a potential three mill levy.

Business owners in Avondale Estates have raised concerns about the special service district, which would be an additional tax on many of them. The Avondale Estates Business Association shared letters with Decaturish that say the association is firmly opposed to the special service district.

“We would first like to express our wholehearted support for the growth and development that our city has witnessed in the past few years. We understand that much of Avondale’s progress has been the direct outcome of very hard work by Avondale’s public servants, working in tandem with us—your local businesses,” the AEBA’s letter to the city commission states. “We believe that the SSD will negatively impact our businesses, residents, and the overall vibrancy of our community. We believe it will hinder rather than help our collective goals.”

The AEBA suggests that the city commission either raise the millage rate across the city to cover expenditures or consider imposing a vacancy tax on undeveloped or underused properties in the central business district.

To view the association’s letter to the city commission, click here. To view the AEBA’s community letter, click here.

The draft 2024 operating budget that includes the special service district proposes about $5.4 million in revenue and expenditures. The city anticipates receiving about $4 million in property tax revenue in 2024.

If the special service district is not established, the proposed 2024 operating budget plans for about $5.1 million in revenue and expenditures. The city would receive about $3.8 million in property taxes.

The capital budget will begin in 2024 with about $5.7 million in revenue. The city anticipates receiving about $12.7 million in revenue for the capital projects budget in 2024 and 2025 bringing the total revenue to about $18.4 million.

During the work session, the city commission will discuss appointing members to the city’s boards and committees, renewing the contracts for the city solicitor and municipal court judge, as well as the 2023 city commission meeting schedule.

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