Rutledge approves $430K budget for FY 2009
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
The Rutledge city council approved the city’s 2008-2009 budget during their regular meeting last Monday night.
The city expects to generate $432,000 from property taxes ($82,000), sales taxes ($155,000), franchise taxes, licenses and permits, among other streams of revenue.
Principal expenditures include $80,000 for salaries and police and health insurance for city employees; $30,000 for roads, sidewalks, and buildings; $15,000 for an emergency storm drain; and $35,000 for recreation and parks.
The jump in funding for recreation and parks—the total budget was only $2,000 for that line item in fiscal year 2008—is due to the creation of a long-term improvement plan for the city’s main park and ball fields adjacent to the downtown fire station.
“We’re looking to improve the park,” said Mayor Spencer Knight. “We want to start by fixing up the softball field, then add [improvements] each year.”
The park could eventually have walking trails, tennis courts, and improved parking for the use of residents.
The city also included an additional $5,000 in its buildings fund for the possible partial renovation of the city’s Old Jail.
Council members also improved the separate water and sewer budget, which is expected to total $341,000. The water fund derives about $280,000 in income from water and sewer fees, tap fees, SPLOST funds, and other business-related charges; the fund is also expected to require a $73,000 transfer from the city’s general funds to balance the budget in 2009. Council members expect to review a water rate study in the coming weeks to determine whether or not the city’s rates should change.