Snellville budget 'on track' so far in 2011

SNELLVILLE — City Manager Russell Treadway presented a second quarter financial report to Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer and City Council members Monday evening, stating that the city is “on track for this fiscal year” with respect to budgeted vs. actual numbers.

The property tax increase is beginning to have an impact on quarterly numbers, as expected, alleviating some of the economic pain that Snellville is experiencing along with other Gwinnett cities.

The only dark spot on Monday’s report was the city’s sanitation fund, which is in the red about $76,000, with the fiscal year only half over.

On the bright side, the city’s new police department building should be ready for occupancy next month, and the new public works building is on track for an April 1 move-in.

Treadway also noted that SPLOST revenues are being collected at about 90 percent of projections, a phenomenon foreseen by the city’s forecasters.

2010 budget amended to help employees, city

City leaders voted unanimously on Monday to approve amendments to the city’s 2010 budget. One change approved will pay for a $32,000 increase in employee health benefit costs. City employees have not had a pay increase in three years, so leaders felt that absorbing this cost would help employees without actually granting pay raises.

The second change accommodates the addition of two police officers, both of whom a grant will fully fund for three years. The grant money covers the officers’ salaries and equipment, but not the required police cars. “This is filling positions we cut back because of the economy,” said Oberholtzer, noting that the city is not really adding two officers, just making up for two positions that had been vacant because of money-saving measures taken by the city.

City enters purchase agreement for Wisteria Square

Council members also voted to enter into a purchase agreement for the 10 acres known locally as Wisteria Square in Snellville. The bank had originally offered to sell the property to the city for $3.4 million, but when the property was appraised in August for $1.8 million, the bank dropped its price.

“Being the frugal people that we are, we offered to buy the land for less than $700,000,” said councilman Tod Warner, adding that the city will now purchase the land for less than $65,000 per acre.

Funding options have not yet been addressed for the land purchase; Monday’s vote simply approved the city entering into an agreement to purchase the land.

Bender again named mayor pro tem; Lapides named to CID board

Councilwoman Barbara Bender agreed Monday to accept another one-year term serving as the city’s mayor pro tempore. This will mark Bender’s third year holding the office of mayor pro tem.

Oberholtzer appointed Snellville citizen Garry Lapides to serve as the city’s representative to the Evermore CID. Lapides has served the city on several committees over the years, including his current position on the Parks and Recreation board.

“It’s a very vital position,” said Oberholtzer of the city representative to the CID.