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Guyton gives first OK to FY12 budget
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Guyton City Council members approved Tuesday night the first reading of a proposed fiscal year 2012 budget that is 4.5 percent bigger than the current budget.

Council members likely will approve the budget, pegged at $1.167 million, at their June 28 meeting. The current fiscal year budget is $1.116 million.

Among its projections, the city is looking at a decrease of $14,000 in local option sales tax revenue and at going from $193,600 to $0 in special purpose local option sales tax proceeds. But the city also expects to receive more than $67,000 in reimbursement from the county for roads and recreations, under the newly-approved service delivery agreement, and will use $19,000 from unreserved funds. The city also is projecting receiving nearly $140,000 more — from $28,680 to $175,260 — in fire and rescue fees.

The city also is predicting a drop in fees from building permits by more than half, from $6,750 to $2,500.

In the FY12, the biggest jump in expenditures comes from fire department spending, which will go from just over $62,000 to more than $210,000.

The proposed budget also calls for a more than $30,000 increase in spending in administration. Included is $5,000 for a city planner and $10,000 more in professional services. The city also expects to spend $5,000 more on garbage and sanitation, with a $4,500 increase in its contract with Waste Management.

However, the city is expecting to spend more than $32,000 less on recreation/leisure services and almost $40,000 less on streets and lanes. In fact, its streets capital outlay budget, more than $77,000 in the current budget, is being wiped out in the planned expenditure.

In its other expenses category, the city plans to spend just under $150,000, more than $73,000 less than this year’s budget. The water capital improvement line item, $77,640 in the FY11 budget, also is being wiped out.

The city’s collection of garbage fees is expected to go up to $113,442 from $110,800 but the city also expects to collect in excess of $90,000 less in revenue from its water service.

Guyton also is considering purchasing a used fire truck to replace an aging engine. Fire Chief David Starling is talking with the Augusta Fire Department. The truck, a 1999 model, has an $80,000 price tag.

Starling said they were trying to get a newer truck, one produced since 2000, but the one in Augusta they have been looking at is from $25,000-$50,000 cheaper than similar engines they researched.

“It has a Detroit engine and an Allison transmission. You can’t tear it up,” Starling said.

The truck the Guyton department has in mind seats six firefighters, which is what the department needs, according to Starling. The city could buy it outright or lease it with an option to buy after seven years at a 2.97 percent interest rate. Should the city acquire the truck, it would a replace a 40-year-old truck. The Guyton department also has a 35-year-old truck in its inventory.

To order a truck from Pierce, the manufacturer, such as the one the Guyton Fire Department is looking at would cost almost $500,000, Starling said. The truck has a 750-gallon water tank but does have a foam unit to fight car and chemical fires.