Roswell’s proposed 2020 budget focuses on maintaining balance and improving transportation, and was approved unanimously at its first reading.

The 2020 proposed budget of $152,371,746 is an increase of $8,341,225 (5.8%) from the 2019 approved budget of $144,030,521.

The general fund operating expenditures are estimated to be $72.8 million, including $31 million for police and fire and $12.3 million for community development and transportation.

The proposed 2020 revenues equates to $77.1 million, with $26.2 million from property taxes, $25.9 million from sales tax, $16 million from business tax and $9 million from other revenues.

Included in the budget is an average 3% merit-based wage increase for all full-time employees, part-time staff and firefighters.

The proposed budget primarily focuses on maintaining existing service levels and infrastructure, such as road resurfacing, sidewalk maintenance and tending to potholes.

The budget calls to add $65,000 in funding for the Roswell Arts Fund and to add $17,410 in funding for the Historic Roswell Beautification Project, for a total of $82,410 in additions, director of finance Ryan Luckett said. These additions would be made by decreasing the road resurfacing funding by $82,410.

The budget for resurfacing will be around $1.1 million, nearly $700,000 less than needed to maintain a 20 year resurfacing cycle.

Mayor Lori Henry said that Riverside Road street needs to be designed before the city can get into the logistics of that road. The majority of accidents on Riverside Road occur at the intersection of Azalea, Riverside Road and Highway 9.

Henry said the concerns of this area will be addressed during the Historic Gateway Project, the city’s project to redesign and widen Atlanta Street. The Historic Gateway Project is funded by T-SPLOST.

“I feel quite strong about putting the money back into our road resurfacing and our sidewalks because those are the two number one issues here in the city of Roswell,” Henry said. “I fully support the budget that was presented.”

The budget also proposed $10,000 for the Tactical Vest and Helmet Replacement Program for the Roswell Police Department and $100,000 to system-wide park improvements and beautification.

Any unspent funds from FY 2019 are proposed to be distributed to various programs, such as the Education Assistance Program and Roswell University. Unspent money could also fund remote 911 replacement laptops.

The second reading of the proposed budget will be read May 28 at 7 p.m. and fiscal year 2020 will begin July 1.

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