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Guyton approves $2.1 million budget for 2024
Increases for police department, recreation

By Barbara Augsdorfer, Editor for the Effingham Herald

The City of Guyton approved its budget for fiscal year 2024 at a special called meeting on June 28. The budget includes just over $2.1 million in the general fund, just under $2.3 million in the water and sewer fund, with expenditures estimated at $2.1 million; $260,000 in TSPLOST, $590,000 in SPLOST funding,

The budget includes increased funding for Guyton Police, recreation, and the Downtown Development Authority.

“Guyton's 2023-2024 budget is an excellent example of spending tax dollars efficiently,” said Mayor Russ Deen. “This budget creates three new positions in the city, two administrative assistants, and a code enforcement officer.  These improvements will allow for faster service and will improve the appearance, safety, and quality of life for citizens in Guyton.”

In other action, the city council approved the zoning ordinance change regarding mobile and modular homes in the city, and added a recreation master plan.

 “Property owners desiring to put a manufactured or modular home on (their) property in the city limits will now apply for a special use permit with Planning and Zoning,” explained Mayor Deen. “This ordinance does not make manufactured housing or modular homes illegal. It allows the community the opportunity to participate in the future of their neighborhoods.”

The City Council voted to amend a service agreement with Atlanta-based POND Company to add a parks master plan to their economic development plan.

“We will have two stakeholder meetings where the public get to weigh in and express their desires for recreation,” said Maketa Brown, Guyton City Manager. “We will meet at the end of it all once it's completed. They will give us a detailed plan and tell us all the existing conditions of all our properties that could be used for recreation. (POND) is working with the county on a master plan there and so we hope to have our recreation items complement those of the county.”

Mayor Deen added his support for the proposal adding, “One of the biggest holdups is not having a community supported master plan. Community involvement is incredibly important with these things especially like our economic development plan.” He added that obtaining grants and other funding is much easier with community support.

“It's basically what the community wants. We want to hear from you,” Deen continued. “We want you to be a part of the stakeholder process and public hearing process. I've even reached out to Guyton Elementary School and we're going to ask the kids when they come back to school to give us their ideas because the park right across from their school.”

Dates to remember

The community is invited to the following events in Guyton:

July 8, 8 a.m.-noon, WOW Farmer’s Market on the Guyton Walking Trail.

July 15, noon-5 p.m., Guyton Leisure Services Community Picnic at the new recreation park, 718 Central Ave., Guyton. The event will have food, fun, games, contests, prizes, and other give aways, according to event organizers.

July 22, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Sale along the Trail. “The only licensed folks who are allowed to sell those booths is City Hall,” cautioned Mayor Deen. “If you are interacting with someone on Facebook who says it’s $150, they're lying. Booths are $20. No electricity, but a lot of people were averaging around 1,500 to 2,000 people for that sale. So, please come out.”