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City to hold fiscal year 2020 budget workshop Friday
No tax increase, but a sanitation fee hike expected
City of Statesboro seal

Statesboro City Council is meeting Friday beginning at 8:30 a.m. for its fiscal year 2020 budget workshop.

The meeting, in the council chambers at City Hall, is open to the public but is a non-voting session. City departments and agencies such as the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Averitt Center for the Arts present information on their budget needs.

As an auditor recently reported in regard to the fiscal 2018 budget, the city has rebuilt its general fund reserve to safe levels since the austerity measures of the past decade. That reserve amounted to almost $5.2 million last July 1, up from just $99,109 in 2009.

So, no property tax millage increase is requested for fiscal 2020, which starts July 1.

Sanitation hike

But an increase of about 5 percent in sanitation fees for households and businesses is being proposed in the budget assumptions. So is an increase of about 5 percent in tippage fees that haulers pay to deposit waste at the household waste transfer station and the yard waste landfill. 

“We’re not anticipating any increase in water rates or in sewer rates or in natural gas,” City Manager Randy Wetmore said Thursday.

The city has budgets totaling almost $62.4 million, which includes enterprise funds such as natural gas and water-and-sewer as well as the general fund. That total also includes transfers from one fund to another, so the net revenue and expenditures are lower. The general fund, which is the regular operating budget for City Hall functions, police protection and other non-billable services paid for in part by property taxes, amounts to $16.3 million.

Friday’s session is expected to last all morning and into the afternoon. The council will have to adopt the budget at a future, regular meeting.

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