The Dunwoody City Council approved its 2017 budget of $24.2 million at the Oct. 24 council meeting without any discussion.

The 2017 budget includes a 3.5 percent salary increase for the city’s approximately 87 employees to go into effect April 1.

The budget was approved by voice vote along with several other items as part of the council’s consent agenda.

Also approved as part of the consent agenda was a 4 percent merit raise for City Clerk Sharon Lowery, bringing her salary to $101,920, and a $10,000 merit raise for City Manager Eric Linton, bringing his salary to $181,260, both effective Jan. 1. Lowery has been with the city since 2009 and Linton since 2014.

The approved budget is slightly more than the $23.9 million proposed in September. The only significant change from what was proposed in September is lowering rebranding funding from $80,000 to $15,000.

City Council members balked at spending $80,000 to hire a firm to create a new city logo, updating one creating in 2010.

Based on council policy, the 2017 budget anticipates maintaining a reserve sufficient to cover government operations for four months and upholds the city’s original 2.74 millage rate and does not anticipate an increase in that rate, according to City

Manager Eric Linton and Mayor Denis Shortal in a memo to council members.

“As operational levels and residents’ expectations for services gradually rise on an annual basis, along with added facilities and services not originally part of the city’s assets or functions when incorporated, maintaining the 2.74 millage rate remains both practical and pragmatic,” Linton and Shortal stated.

The 2017 budget includes a $778,000 transfer in General Fund dollars to pay debt associated with Project Renaissance land purchases. The land is owned by the city’s Urban Redevelopment Agency.

“These debt payments will be offset with revenue generated from the sale of lots related to Project Renaissance. The city anticipates paying off all variable debt for the Project Renaissance land purchases by the end of 2017,” according to the budget.

The Project Renaissance mixed-use development was begun in 2012 and is being built on two pieces of property on North Shallowford Road. One parcel is the 16-acre property known as the “PVC Farm” that City Council purchased for $5 million in 2011. The other is the 19-acre site of the former Emory Dunwoody Hospital.

The 2017 budget also includes $2.1 million in General Fund transfers and $5 million in HOST Fund transfers to the Capital Projects program for the development of city assets, infrastructure projects and public safety enhancements. The Capital Projects list for 2016 includes street resurfacing, sidewalk construction, intersection improvements, trailway connections, park improvements and public safety equipment.

2017 Budget Expenditure Highlights

Paving / Infrastructure
2017 road resurfacing and paving: $3.6 million
Mount Vernon at Vermack intersection Improvement: $1.25 million
Tilly Mill Sidewalk, Womack to North Peachtree – Phase I: $500,000
Perimeter traffic management system construction management: $35,000
Chamblee-Dunwoody Road improvements: $50,000
North Peachtree traffic calming: $100,000
MARTA bus shelter replacement at Brook Run Park: $25,000
Right of way acquisition for sidewalks and multi-use trails: $200,000

Park improvements based on Master Plan: $3.5 million
Dunwoody Trailway – Georgetown to Perimeter Connection: $1.5 million
Recreation Programs supervisor: $45,000

Police Department/Public Safety
One sworn officer, one prisoner transport officer and two police service representatives: $274,000

Community Development
Livable Centers Initiative study with Peachtree Corners for Winters Chapel area: $30,000

Breakdown of the Budget

General fund: $24,262,300
E911 fund: $1,050,000
Hotel excise tax fund: $2,700,000
Vehicle rental excise tax fund: $100,000
Grants fund: $776,983
Debt service fund: $800,000
HOST fund: $4,704,500
Capital projects fund: $3,500,000
Stormwater fund: $2,038,222

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.