Cobb's 2013 budget will be revealed Tuesday
by Geoff Folsom
August 27, 2012 12:52 AM | 3820 views | 6 6 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The public will get its first look at Cobb County’s fiscal year 2013 budget at a Tuesday afternoon work session.

Commission Chairman Tim Lee said the budget will at worst be flat compared to the current fiscal year general fund budget of $322 million, but, with Cobb’s tax digest down, he hoped to reduce it some.

“It will probably be slightly lower,” Lee said Friday. “We’re fine-tuning it still.”

The budget will have no staff cuts or furlough days for employees, but none of the cuts made in early 2011— including reduced library hours and bus routes — will be restored, Lee said.

As of Friday, there are no employee raises in the budget, Lee said.

Southeast Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott, who voted against the 2012 budget last September, said he would need to see some differences in the upcoming budget if he is to support it. Among his concerns last year was a 10 percent transfer of Cobb Water System revenue to the county’s general fund, a shift of $19.6 million.

“We keep raising water rates, and we’re transferring money out of the water system,” said Ott, who had yet to review the 2012 budget. “If we’re raising water rates because we’re transferring money, to me, that’s a tax increase.”

Lee said he anticipates that another transfer from the water system will be part of the 2013 budget.

Ott cast the only “no” vote in the 3-1 decision on the 2012 budget. He also opposed a 15.7 percent property tax increase in 2011 and keeping the same rate of 11.11 mills last month.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sept. 4. Commissioners are expected to vote on the budget at their Sept. 11 meeting.

Also at their Tuesday evening meeting, commissioners will consider 2011 SPLOST-funded improvements at two Cobb parks.

One contract would pay $1.1 million to SportsTurf Company Inc. of Whitesburg to repair soccer and football fields at Noonday Creek Park in northeast Cobb. Tom Bills, project manager for Cobb Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs, said the project will grade, irrigate and sod at least seven of Noonday’s 12 fields, with hopes of repairing two more.

The fields need to be improved because the park is in Noonday Creek’s floodplain, Bills said.

SportsTurf’s bid was lower than those of Precision Turf LLC of Lilburn, which bid $1.12 million, and TriScapes Inc. of Alpharetta, which bid $1.2 million.

Improvements to sports fields will also be part of $2.2 million in improvements planned for Wallace Park in Mableton. But, for now, commissioners are considering a $114,300 design contract with Lose & Associates Inc. of Lawrenceville.

“That’s a park that could just use a facelift,” Bills said.

Along with designing the renovation of the park, which will also include two new buildings, the project will also determine a construction schedule intended to best avoid conflicts with baseball and football leagues.

“It’s possible we could work on the football field and leave the baseball field open, and vice versa,” Bills said.

Croft & Associates of Kennesaw had the second lowest bid at $129,300, and Sutton Architectural Services Inc. of Canton was third at $134,795.

The work session starts at 1:30 p.m., while the commissioners’ regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., both in their second floor meeting room at 100 Cherokee St. in Marietta.
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September 04, 2012
Let's open your records and see how many managers and high salary positions continue to get raises while the folks that haven't received a raise in 6 years cannot even afford the gas any longer to drive to work. I challenge you to look at each employee and disclose who is underpaid as of 2012. These folks deserve back pay for all the blood, sweat and tears they continually give you day in and day out. Raises should be priority in the budget. Look at your budget and figure out what your doing wrong!
August 28, 2012
If the Commissioners would cut the excess and unnecessary expenditures in budget then they could afford to give raises to the employees that deserve them.

The result: Happy taxpayers, happy employees.

Please Some Repsect
August 27, 2012
Really some respect would be nice, Not all County employees are on the dole. I have been with the county over twenty years, I have left my family with trees on the house, with the basement flooded and missed more holidays then attended. I did this to SERVE, not because I have to, but because if I don't, most of you that bash the county employee will not SERVE others. I work for the county for the right reasons, I am not over paid, I do deserve a raise, and I will continue to provide a good service to those that care. But please stop the hate and constant bashing of those that serve and sacrafice their time and safety for you, yes you that calls when your alram goes off or your neighbors music is too loud and you won't say anything to them.
no raise for 6 yrs
August 27, 2012
No raises again? Many good police officers have left Cobb for better pay. A computer genius with 15 years under her belt just left Cobb for better pay. We're recruiting part timers to fill positions and paying just above minimum wage. Instead of Expect The's like Six Flags, Raise your arms, watch your knees and exit to the left please.
Gringo Bandito
August 27, 2012
The fact that county government is not a gravy train does not disappoint me in the least.
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