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North Augusta’s proposed budget doesn’t increase taxes, rates

October 13, 2018

North Augustans will get a chance to give their two cents about the 2019 proposed budget, which doesn’t currently include a tax or rate increase.

On Monday at 7 p.m. before the regular City Council meeting, the city is holding a public hearing for the fiscal year 2019 budget.

This year’s budget, at $44,746,746, increased $1,241,027 from last year’s at $43,505,719.

“We had some growth, but we had over $600,000 growth in our business licenses from new and existing businesses in our city doing very well, so that was a very encouraging piece of it, and i would think is probably the biggest part of the overall growth that we’ve had,” said City Administrator Todd Glover.

Property tax millage is not increased in this year’s budget, but millage set for capital projects was increased by reducing costs in the general fund, Glover said.

Public Safety fines show a 9.22 percent increase in the projected budget, but Glover said that isn’t due to rate increase, but revenue projections increase.

“As you grow, as you have more people, as you have more traffic, then you would expect that your traffic fines and things like that increase,” Glover said.

“Now, we want them to increase on kind of a scale that was equal to what we were before, we’re not saying that we’re going to go out there and stop more people or do things like that, but the more people you have, then the more incidences like that you’re going to have, so we’re projecting an increase in revenue there,” he said.

Though no increases are included in the proposed budget, there is potential for adopting millage and additional increases during the public budget hearing on Monday, according to the public hearing notice.

New personnel are also included in the projected budget for 2019: an assistant City Administrator, a new Public Safety officer, a tree technician and various other positions.

Currently the city does not have an assistant City Adminsitrator.

“It’s just going to allow me to get out of some of the day to day stuff and get to more bigger picture, pushing us to the future projects and a vision,” Glover said.

“Right now I’m trying to remain open and find the best person for the job and then let’s craft what their responsibilities are around that. You know, we’re kind of jack of all trades, but some people have specialty areas, so if i find somebody I think would be good for the organization, we’d probably adapt that position around their strengths.”

The proposed budget includes two new Public Safety officers, but the grant used to hire the officers only funded one.

“We will be changing that to remove one of those positions,” Glover said.

According to a calendar included in the proposed budget, Council will vote on the three readings of the budget ordinance on Oct. 15, Nov. 5 and Nov. 19.

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