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Cumming closing in on budget for 2016
city

CUMMING — Cumming officials reviewed the city’s proposed 2016 budget during a special called meeting Tuesday night. 

No one spoke during the public hearing on the budget, which is proposing about $13.5 million for the general fund and about $17.7 million for water and sewer for a total of about $31.2 million.

The city council likely will adopt the budget at its regular monthly meeting, set for Dec. 15 in City Hall.

The biggest change from the 2015 spending plan lies in water and sewer, which shows a projected increase in 2016 of nearly $2.8 million from $14.9 million.

Mayor Ford Gravitt attributed that rise to upcoming projects and additional staffing requirements.

“This consists of several capital improvement projects for water and sewer lines, which one of the major expenditures would be on Bethelview Road and [Hwy. 20], where they’re going to be making it a four-lane [road.] That road will need new water lines and sewer lines,” Gravitt explained.

He went on to note that there would also be projects along Buford Highway, the eastern portion of Hwy. 20.

“We have a lot of growth in the county that’s going to consist of additional water lines and sewer lines, where they’re not served,” he said. “Hwy. 20 east, there is going to be some money spent in the Samples Road area and some of the area down there.”

The general fund also increased by more than $400,000. The total budget had been about $13.1 million in 2015.

The capital projects fund, which is part of the general fund, totals about $1.5 million, a drop from about $1.7 million last year. Gravitt praised city officials and employees for the decline.

“I congratulate my city manager and assistant, they’ve done a great job with city employees and staff,” he said. “We’ve got good employees, so that’s relative to their hard work and dedication.”

The largest planned source of revenue for the city comes from water sales, about $9.25 million, and the largest planned expenditure is water and sewer capital improvements, about $8.4 million.