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Posted: July 1, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Social Circle approves budget

Courtesy of the city of Social Circle/

Attached is the 2011-12 operating budget for the city of Social Circle. In the Excel document, there are separate tabs for the general fund, water fund, gas fund and solid waste funds.

Social Circle will purchase three police cars next fiscal year, but that's the only major purchase in the city's recently approved budget.

The city approved a $3 million budget, an increase of $172,844 from last year's budget. The patrol cars will be purchased in a lease agreement for $114,000, which accounts for most of the increase.

The other significant changes are increases to the city's water and sewer rates, which will take place July 1. The rate increases will bring in $171,633 more in revenue, bringing the water budget to $2.11 million.

Social Circle produces the majority of its own water, and the increase in expenditures was partially related to some new equipment, extra contingency money and small labor cost increases. The city's water debt requires it to keep its rates at certain levels, necessitating much of the increase, City Clerk Susan Roper said.

The city's tax digest, the value of all land, buildings and motor vehicles, is expected to decline by $9 million, or 5.55 percent, and total tax revenue for the city will drop $36,195.

"We made a concerted effort last year to make cuts. This year we kept the status quo. We always prepare a conservative budget, and we tried really hard to trim all the fat off it and kept it as lean as we could," Roper said.

In other Social Circle news, the city continues to work on a city bypass road. The council approved selling 9.51 acres to the Georgia Department of Transportation for $71,348, but the contract has not been signed, Roper said, as some details could be changing.

The road is expected to connect East Hightower Trail on the east side of town to Ga. Highway 11 near Laurel Road.

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