Smyrna City Council passed a $74,298,669 budget for fiscal year 2013 . The vote was 5-1 with Ward 6 Council Representative Wade Lnenicka dissenting. Ward 3 Council Representative Teri Anulewicz was absent.
The budget breaks down to $38,536,854 for the general fund, $21,904,754 for the water and sewer fund and $13,857,030 for the special revenue fund. The budget was balanced without furlough days for city staff or a millage rate increase. Smyrna’s millage rate of 8.99 mills has not increased since 2007.
This year’s budget includes a two percent pay increase for all employees across the board effective July 1 and a small holiday bonus to be given at the end of 2012.
“For the last four years we’ve given a small bonus at the end of the year to our employees,” said Ward 1 Council Representative Melleny Pritchett. “We’ve had no raises (…) This year we will be making a small contribution to our employees. It won’t be very much, but it will be something to show our appreciation because without our staff and our department heads we would not have these four years of reserves.”
While the millage rate did not increase, Council passed an increase to the city’s water rates earlier this month. Effective July 1 the city’s tiered water rates will increase by eight percent and the sewer rate by four percent.
The FY 2013 budget also sets up reserves to fund the salaries of the firefighters at Smyrna’s new Fire Station No. 5. to fund the salaries and benefits of that station’s firefighters for the first two years, but will need to pick up the tab after that.
Lnenicka was the only Council Representative who voted against the FY 2013 budget.
“I just have concerns with a lot of issues in the budget and the long-term impact of those decisions on the city’s fiscal health,” he told Smyrna-Vinings Patch after the meeting.
Ward 7 Council Representative Ron Fennel noted that no citizens came to ask questions or make comments during the two budget hearings held during City Council meetings. He also said he received no emails about the budget.