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Dunwoody City Council discusses tweaking budget
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
October 16, 2012 02:19 PM | 2731 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dunwoody officials might have some tinkering to do in regards to the city’s finances.

Dunwoody City Council discussed — on first read — an ordinance to amend the 2012 operating and capital budgets at its meeting Oct. 15.

The occurrence of a few events this year is the catalyst for the proposed measure.

Several projects were budgeted in a previous year but not completed until 2012, Dunwoody City Manager Warren Hutmacher said.

“Because appropriations expire at the end of the fiscal year, [city council] must reallocate budget dollars for the projects in the year completed,” said Hutmacher.

Cases-in-point: The Dunwoody Police Department had nearly $3,000 in unused funds for its Explorer program that were later used this year. Meanwhile, the city public works department had a work order system budgeted in 2011 with more than $49,000 of the dollars not spent until 2012.

A few changes based on recommendations generated in the 2013 budget committee meeting are also on tap for the 2012 budget, Hutmacher noted.

The discussion of the aforementioned ordinance preceded a public hearing of the 2013 proposed fiscal year budget.

The original budget, presented by Mayor Mike Davis and Hutmacher, calls for maintaining the millage rate at 2.74 mills.

Councilman Denis Shortal has expressed his desire for the city to maintain its fiscally conservative ways.

“Being conservative now will prevent a catastrophe down the road,” Shortal said. “If we don’t, those who come behind us will have to pick up the pieces.”

In other business, council members and other city officials also discussed the possibility of adjusting park rental fees.

“It is customary to charge a rental fee for the privilege of reserving certain park facilities for private parties and functions,” said Brent Walker, Dunwoody Parks and Recreation manager. “The fee offsets administrative costs of reserving the pavilion and the maintenance costs for clean-up before and after a rental.”

The current $100 rental fee is comparable to what other cities in the area charge for smaller private gatherings — family reunions, private corporate events. It is not; however, an “appropriate” asking price for large special events that utilize much more space within Brook Run Park and require more attention from city staffers, Walker said.

Walker recommended the city adopt a daily rental fee scale that differentiates event size and charges accordingly. Private rentals — reunions and birthday parties — will remain $100. Meanwhile, small special events involving up to 300 people will cost $400 per day; those designed to attract more than 300 attendees like carnivals and concerts will go for $600.

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