By Jason A. Smith
STOCKBRIDGE — Stockbridge Mayor Mark Alarcon said he is proud of the city’s newly-approved budget.
“It’s fully funded, not cutting any corners,” he said.
The Council recently adopted a $22 million budget for 2013. That figure represents a 3-percent increase over the amended 2012 budget of more than $21 million.
The unanimous adoption came during a special called meeting Dec. 27.
The budget calls for more than $20 million in city funds, plus a debt-service payment of more than $1.2 million for Stockbridge’s Urban Redevelopment Agency.
The approved budget includes more than $9 million for the city’s general fund, which includes public works, administration, Stockbridge Municipal Court, police, parks, government buildings, city events, code enforcement, executive and governing body funds.
The city is designating $11.8 million in non-general funds which include enterprise funds for stormwater, sewage, sanitation, water, city events and funds for the Merle Manders Conference Center and the Ted Strickland Community Center.
Nearly $6.5 million is budgeted for capital projects in the city, which covers Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds and money for transportation enhancement.
Stockbridge’s hotel/motel tax budget will remain at $87,500 and permanent funds for the city’s cemetery will stay at $350.
The budget anticipates $9.2 million in general fund revenues, an increase from the $9.1 million in the 2012 amended budget.
The city will not impose property taxes on residents this year. Alarcon said recent negotiations between the county and its four cities regarding the Local Option Sales Tax resulted in a “tremendous windfall” for Stockbridge and ensured that city residents will not have to pay property taxes for the next 10 years.
The budget approval came less than a month after the ouster of former Mayor Lee Stuart by the City Council. Stuart was removed from office on six charges alleging misconduct within the city government.
The council, in December, rejected a seventh charge relating to Stuart’s failure to produce a city budget prior to a deadline established in the city’s charter.