“I think this is a budget that will get us through for a couple of months,” said City Manager Chris Lagerbloom. “I think we’re going to have some modifications to make — modifications for the good.”
The proposed budget allocates $4.3 million for the city’s capital improvement program, which includes $1.9 million for pavement management.
“We’re ahead of schedule on our pavement management with the goals that we set for ourselves,” Lagerbloom said.
A new capital project for the upcoming fiscal year is $75,000 in improvements to Freemanville Road at the intersections of Providence and Birmingham roads.
The budget also includes $495,000 for intersection improvements at the corner of Hopewell and Birmingham roads and $100,000 for improvements on Hopewell at Bethany Bend and Bethany Way. The city plans to allocate $500,000 in grant funding for the Crabapple Streetscape project.
Addition capital projects include $350,000 for apparatus/vehicle replacement reserves for the fire department. The fire department hopes to purchase a 100-foot mid mount platform ladder truck to replace the city’s 6-year-old 75-foot ladder truck, which has been incurring an average of $12,500 a year in emergency repair costs. The police department requested about $172,000 to replace five vehicles in its fleet.
Other public safety budget items include $167,500 for the city’s severe weather warning siren system and $178,711 for rescue unit staffing. Lagerbloom said the city is waiting on finalizing its contract with Rural Metro, Milton’s ambulance provider, before developing the rescue unit program.
Compared to last year, Milton expects an 8.1 percent budget decrease for its information technology department as the IT manager position was moved in-house instead of funding IT service through an intergovernmental agreement with Johns Creek. However, Milton still plans to partner with Johns Creek for geographic information system services.
Milton expects a 36.8 percent budget increase from last year for its economic development department as a consultant is brought on to help the city obtain a state-designated opportunity zone, which is hoped to attract more businesses to Milton.
Generating revenue to support the $20.2 million budget, Milton property owners will continue to pay the same property tax rate of 4.731 mills, which has remained unchanged from previous fiscal years. The city is estimated to collect about $8.4 million in property taxes, which will account for about 41 percent of the city’s revenue source for the upcoming fiscal year.
Milton will hold the final public meeting for the proposed 2014 budget Sept. 16 at the 6 p.m. City Council meeting at City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Pkwy., Suite 107