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Austell Under Budget

With just a few months left in the fiscal year, the city currently is 6 percent under budget in the general fund.

With three-and-a-half months left in the fiscal year, the is slightly under budget.

The city is at 60 percent of its expenditures for the fiscal year, which is 6 percent under what officials had estimated.

"That's very, very good," Finance Director Denise Soesbee said. "This year, as far as the expenditure side, we seem to be doing good."

Soesbee met with four council members for an informational session regarding the budget on Wednesday morning. The fiscal policies the city has in place has kept it from going into debt to cover cash flow, Soesbee said.

"Because of the policies that were put in place before, we're OK," she said. "We're not great, but we're OK."

City officials are working on addressing outstanding property tax bills. Soesbee said it takes some research because of the inclusion of stormwater fees.

"I want to make sure we know what the balances are," she said. "We're still cleaning it up. We'll get more aggressive."

Other forms of revenue include traffic ticket and court fines, and background checks. Two years ago, the city purchased a LifeScan machine to run background checks and, since then, other governments as well as private employers have paid the city of Austell to run their background checks.

"It's a revenue-maker," Soesbee said. "It's already paid for itself."

The Austell Collar Community Center also is now producing some revenue for the city as many couples want to get married at the gazebo. However, a cost analysis hasn't been conducted.

Besides salaries and benefits, some of the general fund's expenditures include paying the debt service and subsidizing E-911, which only has landline and wireless surcharges for revenues.

"They don't generate enough to operate everyone in there," Soesbee said.

The wildcards when it comes to budgeting are health insurance and gas, said Soesbee, who will begin meeting with department heads and Mayor Joe Jerkins about the FY 2013 budget next week. Last year, health insurance costs increased by $300,000.

"There are too many unknowns," Soesbee said. "The biggest kicker is health insurance and the gas system."

There will be two public hearings on the FY 2013 budget before its approval, which must be done by June 30.

Editor's Note: This article originally stated that the South Cobb Community Center is now producing revenue. The correct facility is the Austell Collar Community Center.

Duane R. Demeritt, CFM March 15, 2012 at 11:13 PM
It should be the Austell Community Center and not the South Cobb Community Center. :)
Kiri Walton (Editor) March 16, 2012 at 12:11 AM
My apologies. Thanks for always reading!
Cain Harris February 07, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Perhaps some of those left over funds could be used to finish buying out some more of the properties that were flloded by katrina and still waiting for the City to act.

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