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Duluth City Council approves $42M budget

DULUTH - The Duluth City Council on Monday gave final approval to its fiscal year 2007 budget of $41,706,658 and then set three public hearings on its tax rate of 5.1 mills, a figure that has held up for several years.

The city must hold the hearings because the 2007 budget just passed requires a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate determined during property assessments.

The system allows the city to accommodate properties whose value has increased, city administrator Phil McLemore said. The hearings are held to allow the public the chance to express their opinions on the tax increase, according to the agenda announcement.

The meetings will be held at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. June 29,and at 7 p.m. July 10. All will be held at Duluth City Hall.

Also Monday, the council raised its mileage reimbursement for employees from $.405 to $.445 per mile in accordance with the Internal Revenue Service rate that was effective in January.

In other business, Mayor Shirley Lasseter announced that the meeting scheduled for June 26 has been canceled because of the statewide meeting of the Georgia Municipal Association.

Also, the panel approved a lease agreement with Lathan Mayfield for temporary relocation of the old Methodist Church/Masonic Lodge building to 3250 Hardy St.

The building will be moved on Thursday to eventually make room for the planned new City Hall at the Town Green. The lease calls for the city to pay $1,000 a month for the location. So far, Duluth has not decided what to do with the church building, but in any case, work would not begin in less than two years, City Clerk Teresa Lynn said.