Brookhaven City Council is working on its proposed 2014 budget, which includes funds for new employees, new city office space and planning for the city’s future.
On Nov. 12, the council held its first public hearing on the budget. A second hearing is scheduled for Nov. 26, and the Council is expected to vote on the final budget Dec. 10.
Finance Director Bonnie Kline said this year’s $26.6 million budget includes revenue sources that weren’t available to the city in its first year, including franchise fees from Georgia Power Co. and insurance premium taxes. The city expects about $2.5 million from insurance premium taxes and $3.5 million from franchise fees.
The city will take in about $5 million from DeKalb County’s Homestead Option Sales Tax next year, which is set aside for capital projects. The city has budgeted $1 million for new sidewalks, $1.1 million for paving, and about $2 million for parks improvements.
Though the city is finishing its first year, Kline said the startup period will really be closer to five years.
“It’s going to be a long time before we can look at one budget and compare it to another,” Kline said. “It takes a while for a new city to get in a groove.”
The city is still searching for a location for its city offices and police headquarters.
In 2013, the city took a one-year lease on an office building in Dunwoody for City Hall and a space in Corporate Square for its municipal court.
The proposed budget includes $500,000 for rental of city facilities and $131,000 to build out city office space and for new financial software.
Brookhaven Communications Director Megan Matteucci said the city has not yet selected a new city office site, so the exact costs are still unknown.
“We’re still negotiating with several property owners to find the best location and best price for the city,” Matteucci said. “It could be one location for the police and city or it could be two separate locations.”
The proposed budget also allocates money for an assistant city manager position.
“The city manager’s workload is overwhelming and in order to meet all the demands for ongoing operations she needs help,” Matteucci said. “This includes everything from negotiating a new city hall, taking over parks from DeKalb County, preparing a budget and overseeing staff and daily operations.”