Preliminary Budget Development highlights: public hearing City Council Chamber at 5:30 p.m. on June 1, 2021
Property Tax increase of 3 cents FY23 on the current proposal; 1.5 cents debt service 2016 bonds & additional 1.5 cents for $120 M proposed 2021 new bond referendum. It was noted that a tax reevaluation coming also.
Plan to issue 2/3rd bonds (no vote required) - $16.3 M
Water/Sewer rate increase of 4.5% - (key drivers are aging infrastructure, capacity support economic development, reg compliance, COVID lost revenue from unpaid fees)
Budget Key Drivers: GPD staff and compensation increase, retirement contribution increase, Behavioral Health Response Team, General Employees moved from merit to step compensation plan (No more performance based pay? )
ARP (American Rescue Plan) ~ $56.3 M expected for GSO to spend 5/2021-24; Mayor V and some council members suggested a pool of funds, 1 million or so per year for two years, be set aside exclusively for grants to minority businesses. Some who don’t want (or have ability?) to “jump through hoops” to get other grant money. Concerns noted over legality of race based grant $ distribution - suggestion that other ways (unstated) be used to accomplish grant distribution goals.
City Manager David Parrish resigning effective 6/30.
Public speakers continue (ramping up even) to pressure council re: ongoing litigation of Marcus Smith case. Council held a closed door meeting - topic not stated it’s possible this was topic discussion.
Election: council did an about face - . Voted to postpone decision - local NAACP and league women’s voters spoke in favor of election postponement until after census certification. Delay would ensure the current council can control any redrawing of district lines.