Suwanee adopts $12 million budget

SUWANEE -- Determined to maintain service levels while the economy slowly improves, the city of Suwanee on Tuesday adopted a $12.16 million budget while it maintains a 4.93 millage rate.

The budget for fiscal year 2014, adopted at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, which begins on July 1, is a 1.3 percent increase above the 2013 adopted budget. The budget includes funding for a new police detectice, a part-time public works equipment operator and a 9 percent increase in health insurance cost. A 4 percent increase in employee salaries is also included.

"It's a trying time for a lot of municipalities in the state of Georgia," Councilman Dan Foster said. "We continue to do great things in Suwanee, and do it with less."

Mayor Jimmy Burnette said city officials pride themselves on having high levels of service, and he applauded the balanced budget where none of the five revenue sources represented more than 27 percent.

Burnette said economic indicators such as building permits are indicative that the economy is starting to show more signs of improvement.

"I've always thought the economy was in pretty good shape," he said. "We've been building homes even through the (economic downturn), but last year was a lot more."

Some of the capital expenditures covered in the new budget include two mowers, two replace vehicles, landscaping along the Main Street railroad bank, development of a city phone app and additional electrical capabilities in Town Center Park.

The five-year capital improvement plan of $18.73 million was also approved. It provides funding for 30 long-term capital projects such as corridor improvements for Buford Highway, street maintenance and resurfacing and facility maintenance.