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Hiram gets a glimpse of proposed budget
by Adam Elrod
aelrod@neighbornewspapers.com
July 02, 2013 09:14 AM | 1056 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City Manager Robbie Rokovitz presents a budget draft to the city council at a special called meeting last week.
City Manager Robbie Rokovitz presents a budget draft to the city council at a special called meeting last week.
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Hiram City Council was presented a draft of the fiscal year 2014 budget totaling almost $6.2 million last week.

City Manager Robbie Rokovitz, in a special called public hearing and meeting, recommended a 2.519 percent millage rate which could be used to fund part of the budget estimated at $6,189,047.

The budget is a 13.77 percent increase from fiscal year 2013.

Fiscal year 2014 started July 1, but the council will consider the budget and the proposed millage rate July 9.

However, the council has not passed a millage rate in the past because it is used to calculate property taxes which the city does not currently collect. The majority of revenues come from sales taxes, and Rokovitz said he does not think a property tax rate will be imposed this year either.

To balance the budget the city will need to use $511,485 from funds it has in certificates of deposit, and $182,284 from reserve funds.

“My job is to reduce the money we dip into [and] also postpone putting property tax in place,” Rokovitz said.

Multiple departments have cut costs to save money including parks and recreation, police, administration and the mayor and city council. The mayor and council budget is for travel and lodging when they go to training and conferences.

“They thought if they were asking everybody else to cut, they should, too,” Rokovitz said.

Mayor Doris Devey said she believed it was “a very doable budget.”

She said Rokovitz sees what the city spends every day, and she is confident in the budget he put together.

A new source of income for the budget this year is the title ad valorem tax, which taxes a percentage of what a car is worth when it is purchased.

In other action at the meeting the council voted to enter into an agreement with Paulding County to house the city’s inmates.

The city will pay $45 per day plus medical costs for each prisoner. When inmates are booked on the first day the fee is charged no matter the amount of time they spend in jail that day, but the city will not pay for the last day the inmate is in the jail.

Devey said she believes the agreement is fair. The county formerly did not charge the cities for use of its jail but began seeking payment earlier this year because of rising costs.

“Nobody likes to be charged, but I can see where the county had to do something,” Devey said.
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