RINCON — The Rincon City Council got the jump on displaying holiday cheer.
During a Dec. 20 special called meeting, Mayor Ken Lee and other council members raved about City Manager John Klimm’s budget proposal for (FY) 2022 before approving it on the second reading.
“John, I’d just like to thank you and all the staff for the budget — not only the numbers in the budget that you produce but the leadership that you give to our department heads,” Lee said. “You kind of establish the boundaries and I think our department heads do a good job of staying within those boundaries and, in so doing, you’ve produced a good budget ...”
The (FY) 2022 budget features a revenue increase of 14 percent and an expenditure increase of six percent over (FY) 2021. Last year’s budget featured total revenues of $13,414,055 and total expenses of $12,528,032.
“The budget before you is aggressive and it does take on a lot new work, but it does so within our limited means financially,” Klimm said. “It does not jeopardize at all — it actually puts us in a stronger position at the end of 2022 than we are at this time.”
The budget paves the way for a major capital program that includes:
— extension of water/sewer lines (Chimney Road to Fort Howard Road)
— Fire Department Station No. 1 rehab (engineering/design)
— wastewater treatment plant expansion (Phase 1, environmental impact, plant design and permitting)
— sidewalks inititative (construction on Ga. Hwy 21 from Walmart to Town Park East), (Brentwood to the U.S. Post Office) and (9th Street, Giles to Hwy 21) and Fort Howard engineering
— 7th Street project, Phase 3
The City of Rincon has SPLOST funds set aside from 2011 and 2016 to help with those infrastructure improvements.
The budget also funds the following objectives:
— the third year of the City of Rincon’s employee compensation plan to keep it competitive
— a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for city employees
— a 12 percent increase in health insurance costs
— the implementation of a stormwater program
— commits to the completion of new zoning ordinances, including growth management
— the hiring of part-time help in the Rincon Recreation Department
— beautification projects, including but not limited to the addition of banners/lamp posts
— farmers’ market initiative
— restoration of two police department positions
— restoration of three fire department positions
— SPLOST program for the Recreation Department, Police Department and Public Works
City Councilman Levi Scott applauded the the funds applied in the area of public safety.
“I appreciate you looking at these numbers and moving them around to cover some of these issues ...” Scott said.
In order to maintain a positive financial track, Councilwoman Michelle Taylor suggested having quarterly meetings with Klimm about the budget. Klimm said he thought that was a good idea.