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Posted: August 21, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Social Circle approves 2009-2010 budget

Millage rate vote to come on Sept. 8

The city of Social Circle passed its fiscal year 2009-2010 budget with little fanfare at the city council meeting on Tuesday.

The budget, which was cut from 2008-2009 by more than $450,000, played second fiddle at the meeting to the much more hotly contested issue of the proposed one mill increase to the millage rate. The proposal has drawn a considerable amount of ire at the three public hearings that were held to address the issue.

The council did not vote on the millage increase at the Tuesday meeting, saying that first the Social Circle Industrial Development Authority would need to meet with the Walton Industrial Authority to see if they could get any county assistance. Any money from the county would allow the city to lower the proposed millage increase.

The council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8, when they will finally decide on the issue. It will be an open meeting, and the decision will not be made in an executive session, Mayor James Burgess said.

The proposed increase to the millage rate would be used to generate $156,000 in revenue to pay interest only on two land purchases the city would like to make along the CSX rail line and East Hightower Trail. The Industrial Development Authority believes that the city owning the land would allow them to set a price on the land and make it more appealing to new businesses. The tract of land would be located between the Solo Cup land and where General Mill is building its new facility.

The purchase would bring the number of acres along that route owned by the city to 300.

The full budget can be found online at socialcirclega.com.

Other points from the city council meeting include:

• The city is planning, sometime in the future, to use smoke tests to determine where there are leaks in the city sewers. Residents who have private plumbing on their properties would be responsible if any repairs would need to be made on their own land. The equipment used to perform the test would be borrowed from the city of Madison.

• Mauldin & Jenkins, Certified Public Accountants, LLC, who performed the city audit for 2008, have been selected by the city to perform the audit for 2009.

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