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City budget projected to rise
Aquatic center is a factor
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Forsyth County News

Cumming officials discussed the city’s 2012 budget during a public hearing Tuesday night.

There was no public comment during the session, which was held just prior to the city council’s regular meeting.

Council is scheduled to approve the proposed budget during its Jan. 16 meeting.

“Staff will go back and work to tweak it a little more and then we’ll vote on it in January,” said Mayor H. Ford Gravitt.

Gravitt said the proposed general fund budget of $10.6 million is about $1.3 million more than in 2011.

“The reason is because we have an aquatic center now,” Gravitt said.

The $15 million facility opened this summer off Pilgrim Mill Road, near Georgia 400 at Exit 16.

Construction fees were covered by 1-cent sales tax revenue, but operating expenses will come from the city’s general fund.

City Clerk Jeff Honea said the difference would be covered primarily from revenue the center generates, which is estimated at about $1.1 million.

“We’ll cover the rest from the contingency fund,” Honea said.

Gravitt said the city’s utilities budget is projected to see about $13 million in both revenue and expenditures, an increase of about $240,000 over 2011.

That difference will come from projected increases in water sales.

The total budget of a little more than $24 million also includes a projection of $1 million from the current 1-cent sales tax.

The city receives a percentage of the tax revenue from the county for capital improvement projects, such as the aquatic center.

The city does not levy any separate property taxes. Residents pay only county property taxes.

Gravitt said he was pleased with the proposed budget.

“One nice thing is we don’t have to set aside any portion to pay back bonds,” Gravitt said. “The city doesn’t owe any money.

“We pay everything as we go so we don’t have to set aside any money for bond payments.”