Brookhaven’s 2018 proposed budget has been set at $40.7 million, up from a nearly $37 million budget approved last year.
City Manager Christian Sigman presented the budget to the mayor and City Council at its Oct. 9 meeting. Two more public hearings on the budget will be held during regularly scheduled City Council meetings on Oct. 24 and Nov. 14. The council is expected to vote on the budget following the Nov. 14 hearing.
Sigman noted that the city’s general fund, which funds day-to-day operations, is proposed to be $26 million, a 2.8 percent increase over last year’s general fund budget.
Features of the proposed budget Sigman pointed out:
- The 2.74 millage rate is unchanged and remains one of the lowest in DeKalb County.
- The 2018 year-end General Fund reserve is projected to remain at 25 percent of
- The 2018 paving program is funded at $2.5 million, consistent with the 2018-2022
- Parks Master Plan implementation funding is proposed at $1.2 million.
- The Brookhaven Tourism Department is established.
- Funding is included for the construction of Phase I of the Peachtree Creek Greenway,
which is set to begin in the second quarter of 2018.
“The budget funds a full-service police department, maintains 13 parks with three pools and two recreation centers, and invests in paving, sidewalk and stormwater upgrades at $777 per capita [for each person] — some people pay more in HOA fees,” Sigman said.
He also noted there are risks that come with a budget, including construction inflation costs and issues that may arise with acquisition of right-of-way property. “Some people donate, some charge us and some take us to court,” Sigman said.
The proposed budget includes a 12 percent increase for employee healthcare, but Sigman noted the volatility of healthcare plans in Washington, D.C., could affect that number in the future.
The city will also see increased revenue due to an increase in the hotel/motel tax to 8 percent from 5 percent. The tax increase went into effect this month. While the city has contracted with Discover DeKalb for promotion and tourism services, the proposed budget provides $1 million of the new revenue be set aside to re-establish the Brookhaven Convention and Visitors Bureau for promotion, marketing, gateway and wayfinding signage. The city will continue its relationship with Discover DeKalb.Proposed Parks and Recreation capital projects are budgeted at $2.5 million for 2018. Some of the proposed projects defined during the parks master plan process were:
- $800,000 for a trail to connect Murphey Candler Park to the sidewalk next to
- $400,000 for a treehouse in Briarwood Park. The treehouse will be built among
trees along the trail through the park.
- $150,000 for a parking lot at the new 33-acres PDK Airport greenspace the city
purchased this year. The money will go toward the installation of a new gravel
parking lot, a wooden fence and a park sign.
- $160,000 for the complete renovation of the Blackburn Tennis Center.
- $300,000 to rebuild six of the 18 tennis courts at Blackburn Park Tennis Center.
- $150,000 for repairs to the Murphey Candler Park pool house.
- $180,000 for improvement projects at the Murphey Candler Park athletic facility.
- $300,000 to be used to continue the bank restoration project at Murphey Candler
The 2018 proposed paving budget includes resurfacing of 3.87 miles, or 9.94 lane miles, and another $300,000 is proposed to be spent on sidewalk projects.