The Smyrna City Council spent a good portion of their time at Monday night’s meeting discussing and approving the 2012 budget and an amendment to the zoning ordinance that will hopefully encourage the development of higher quality apartments.
Council members adopted by a vote of 7-0 the FY 2012 budget. The budget was approved for $70,938,283. According to Finance Director Robert Porche, Jr., that breaks down to $37,982,189 for the general fund, $14,884,907 for the special revenue fund and $18,071,187 for the water and sewer fund.
Smyrna’s Fiscal Year 2012 balanced budget does not include tax increases, layoffs or furlough days, nor does it require the closure of facilities or the use of reserve funds. The budget does not allow for any merit raises or cost of living increases for city employees.
The budget is based on a millage rate of 8.99 mills, which has remained constant since 2007. See here for a pdf link with budget information as it was presented to the council for evaluation at its June 6 meeting
Mayor Max Bacon said that there were still a few minor issues waiting to be worked out in regards to the budget but that they would be addressed in the coming months.
One of those changes, Porche said, is related to pool therapy at the Aline Wolfe Adult Recreation Center. Porche said that Parks and Recreation would coordinate with the Wolfe Center pool staff to use their facilities at an hourly rental rate for pool therapy. Parks and Recreation staff will manage the schedule so that general public’s use of the facility is not impacted. Once that rate is determined, Porche said the budget would be updated.
Councilman Charles Pete Wood, who is also Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee, praised Porche and the rest of the staff involved in getting the 2012 budget together.
“The staff came together and realized the economy is not what it had been in previous years, Wood said. “We had a different budget situation.”
Councilwoman Teri Anulewicz echoed Wood’s statement about the recently hired Porche, adding that he came in at a very busy time in the budget cycle. The budget, she said, is a testament to years of making reasonable, intelligent, albeit difficult decisions.
“We have been able to ride out the recession without any major disruption in service to our employees and citizens," she said.
The council also approved 7-0 the approval of an ordinance to the City of Smyrna Zoning Ordinance regarding the creation of a new zoning district called RM-15 Redevelopment District, which will allow for the redevelopment of existing apartment complexes.
The point of this ordinance, according to Community Development Director Ken Suddreth, is to encourage a higher quality of apartment community that he said Smyrna does not currently have. Suddreth explained that this type of apartment complex is called a “Class A” apartment.
Bacon asked Suddreth to give an example of a Class A apartment complex. Suddreth said that he would describe it as one that has above and beyond what a typical apartment complex would offer – from interior and exterior design to the types of services and amenities the complex offers.
Councilman Michael L. McNabb said that he is excited about the new ordinance because it will encourage apartments that need to be upgraded to take the necessary steps.
“We are in a prime location and need to have a Class A set of apartments.”
Check back with Smyrna-Vinings Patch for continuing coverage of this issue and others that were discussed at Monday’s meeting.