At a work session on Tuesday, several items came before Forsyth County commissioners, including future work on Browns Bridge Road (Hwy. 369), a new plan for public parks and an update to the 2017 budget.
Trucks coming to Hwy. 369
The project will receive $800,000 in federal funds, along with state and local funds.
Later in the meeting, the commission approved the $1.4 million bid to T.Y. Lin International for design and engineering.
In another project, the widening of Hwy. 369 from Dahlonega Highway (Hwy. 9) to Keith Bridge Road (Hwy. 306) is being paid for with bond funds. The project is in the design phase, and construction is scheduled for 2018.
Parks plan passed
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a new 10-year comprehensive master plan for the Parks and Recreation Department. The plan was approved earlier this month by the county’s parks and recreation board at a special joint meeting with the county parks committee.
“This plan was set to look at 10 years for the build-out of the county,” Parks and Recreation Director Jim Pryor said. “We want to plan in advance, not be behind the eight ball on things.”
Among recommendations made were four new parks, three additional community buildings and an increased number of greenways.
If every project in the proposal is completed, the total cost could be about $347 million, but Pryor said the county isn’t required to approve funding everything and that this is only a plan.
“It doesn’t mean everything in here is going to get done. We’ll still work project by project,” he said.
To form the plan, officials met with 20 stakeholders, held four focus group sessions, hosted three public workshops and performed a community survey.
As this was adopted at a work session, it will not be officially approved until the Nov. 3 regular meeting.
County budget discussed
The commission heard an update on the 2017 budget, which will be discussed at a public hearing at their Nov. 3 regular meeting. The 2017 budget is balanced with revenues and expenditures at just less than $118 million, up from 2016’s balanced budget of $108.09 million.
The process of updating the budget has been ongoing for months, as officials have held meetings and met with county departments, during which time the millage rate was set at 27.754 mills.
“At the beginning of the year we start with a preliminary budget and the finance committee. We actually work through the budget to get to a point where we can set our millage rate,” County Manager Doug Derrer said. “You see all that in the first six months, and all this [is] the last six months, so it’s a year-long process.”
A draft of the county’s budget can be found online at Forsythco.com.
After Thursday’s meeting, the commission can approve the budget at its Nov. 17 regular meeting. No action was taken during the meeting.