The city will have an additional $500,000 for projects this year.

City Council learned during a May 21 budget hearing that staff revised its prediction of how much tax money the city will collect.

According to the newest estimate, the city will take in $2.4 million less in revenue, not the $2.9 million in less revenue city staff originally predicted.

City staff budgeted the extra $500,000 into citywide “priority” capital projects. Capital projects are brick-and-mortar spending on things such as roads and bridges. The city budget proposal recommends spending the $500,000 on improvements for Abernathy-Johnson Ferry Road and building a pedestrian bridge on Dunwoody Club Drive.

Each year during budget time, city staff members give council members a list of priority projects and ask them to rank each one. Staff members review the rankings and then budgets accordingly. The ranking process is intended to purge politics from the decision.

In recent budget meetings, City Council members have questioned that system because the city will have so little to spend on priority projects this year.

The $5 million to-do list is the lowest amount for priority projects in six years, largely due to the city’s spending on its city center project.

This year the city is budgeting $13.5 million for its city center project, a decade-long effort expected to cost upward of $100 million.

The proposed city general fund budget is $87.8 million, a figure that includes $22 million transferred to the city’s total capital projects budget. Sandy Springs’ capital projects fund budget will be $90.5 million.

Sandy Springs is projecting a $7.3 million surplus this year, according to its budget proposal.

Sandy Springs’ new fiscal year, Fiscal 2014, begins on July 1. City Council will consider approving the budget in June.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com