Danielsville’s city council approved its 2013 budget Dec. 10, which included a two-percent decrease in revenue and expenses over the 2012 budget.
The general fund budget for 2013 is $454,600, $13,035 less than in 2012.
The reduction in revenue is due primarily to lower property tax rates, and the city has adjusted accordingly by cutting expenses in attorney’s fees, third party financial/payroll reporting services (these will be done in house), the use of community service workers for custodial services and the reassessment and lowering of property and liability insurance policies, phone, bank and gas services.
The new budget, though lower, does include the opportunity for zero to 3.5 percent pay raises for city employees based on their yearly evaluations.
Mayor Todd Higdon noted that city attorney Dale Perry’s fees have decreased this year since things have been running smoother.
“The council has a lot better control now,” Perry noted.
In the water/sewer fund budget, revenues and expenses are projected at $342,700, a 24 percent decrease over the 2012 budget of $455,326.
Higdon and city clerk Susan Payne pointed out that the city went from being a projected $100,000 plus “in the red” earlier in the year to breaking even. Higdon said this was due to water/sewer rate increases, cutting expenditures where possible and using SPLOST funds for water/sewer projects, where appropriate.
This year’s budget also builds in funds for seasonal help in the maintenance department and moving a part-time police officer position, currently held by Henry Hicks, to a full-time position.
Mayor Higdon said this was the best budget the city has seen in some time. “Not only have we broke even, there are funds to expand,” he said.
In other business, the city voted to use Heartland Payment Systems so that they can begin to use credit/debit card payments for utility bills. Payne said residents have been asking for this service, which will allow them to pay with their credit or debit cards in the office, or over the phone.
The council also approved five beer and wine licenses for city businesses.
The council heard from Higdon that the city could be adding 19 more streetlights at no additional cost. Mayor Higdon plans to meet with Georgia Power officials on Dec. 18 to discuss reducing the wattage in some streetlights, which will allow the city to pick up 19 more lights for the same cost each month. He said the main focus of street light additions would be Hwy. 98 on both sides of town and on Crawford W. Long Street.