As fiscal year 2017 winds down, the Cartersville City Council made final changes to the 2018 budget Thursday.
Council approved the second reading of the amended permit fee ordinance that standardizes residential and commercial building permit rates. The new residential rates are calculated by footage multiplied by .0035 while commercial permits are square footage multiplied by .003.
“Currently we just let the contractor come in and tell us the valuation,” Assistant City Manager Dan Porta said. “The new rate structure will follow the International Code Compliance using a per square foot method.”
Porta said the city rates remain lower than surrounding governments because Cartersville only charges for heated square footage whereas other municipalities charge for unheated space, a sizeable difference in assessed fees. Porta noted that the last change to the building permit fee was in July 2005.
City Finance Director Tom Rhinehart explained an amendment to the utility ordinance regarding water and sewer rates.
“The proposed fiscal year 2017-18 budget includes two increases in the water and sewer fund to help address the maintenance and capital issues of the water fund,” he said. “The first is a 7.5 percent increase in the residential water and sewer rates, which will allow the water department to continue the maintenance of the existing water and sewer system as well as update/expand the system to fulfill the needs of existing customers. For residential customers, the water and sewer rate increase equates to 61 cents per 100 cubic feet used for city residents and $1.12 per 100 cubic feet used for outside-the-city residents. The total estimated increase for a residential water and sewer customer is $4.09 per month on 7,500 gallons used.
“The second change is a 7.5 percent increase in the base monthly water and sewer rates. Currently, the base rate is $8.18 and the proposed base rate will increase to $8.79 a month. This equates to an increase of 61 cents a month. These increases are needed to maintain the existing system and plan for any necessary future expansions in the system.”
Rhinehart also introduced the amended budget ordinance for fiscal year 2017-18 with “minor tweaks.”
“Since the budget presentation at the last meeting, solid waste has changed their capital amount to include a front loading garbage truck instead of a recycling truck,” he said. “This added an additional $30,000 to the solid waste budget and will be absorbed through additional lease-pool funding. The second change is in the stormwater funds. They need a work van motor locked up, add a $37,000 increase to their budget, also absorbed through the lease-pool.”
As discussed in the May 23 work session, the proposed budget increased by 6.92 percent, or $10,863,305, over the last fiscal year 2016-17 budget and includes salary adjustments in all departments, no increase in the city’s property tax millage rate, school system funding, staff increases, an increase in health insurance premiums for both the city and the employees, an increase in the residential water and sewer rates and an increase in the basic monthly water and sewer rate.
City Manager Sam Grove introduced a series of contracts and agreements with:
• The Optimist Club for the July 4 celebration. Additionally, JRM Management Services, Inc. has contracted with the Optimists to coordinate the event.
• Performing Services for those agencies that are awarded funds each year as part of the annual budget. The agencies and amounts for this year are:
— Cartersville-Bartow Library/ $454,500
— Cultural Arts Alliance/ $51,000
— Juvenile Court/ $15,000
— Bartow Health Access/ $2,000
— Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter/ $2,000
— Summer Hill Learning Center/ $1200
— Eddie Lee Wilkins Youth Association/ $18,000
— Bartow-Cartersville Joint Development Authority/ $173,960
• Southern Soccer Academy to join CLASH Soccer on a 3-year plan to field recreational and competitive youth soccer programs, and a possible agreement with City of Cartersville.
In other business council:
• Approved $7,266 for a crane rental from Southway Crane & Rigging to remove a damaged aerator gearbox from the water treatment plant and install a repaired gearbox.
• Approved $73,184 to construct a new fiber optics building inside the Public Works Department facility.
• Approved $19,962 for conduit installation, $29,900 for delivery and installation of a Kohler Model 100REZGD generator and 400 Amp Automatic Transfer Switch and $9,350 for delivery and installation of two Bard model W60A2 air conditioning units at the new communications building.
• Appointed Karen Barnhart to the Cartersville-Bartow Library Board.
• Appointed Antwuan Hill, Scott Panter, Greg Frisbee and Jessica Mitcham to the Bartow-Cartersville Land Bank.
The Cartersville City Council will meet at City Hall on Thursday, July 6, for a work session at 6 p.m. followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m.