The city of Lakesite recently passed its budget for fiscal year 2018. It does not include a tax increase.
Since the city does not yet have a certified tax rate based on the county's reassessment, Lakesite's tax rate was set to be revenue-neutral, meaning it will offset any changes to residents' tax bills caused by the county's new certified rate, according to City Manager David Edwards.
"In other words, our tax rate will go down but the [city's] amount of property tax revenue will remain the same," he explained.
The total budget for fiscal year 2018 is $1,902,288, compared to $1,469,524 for the 2017 fiscal year ending June 30. The main difference is $830,000 budgeted for capital improvements, grant-matching funds and road projects, Edwards said. Such improvements carried a budget line item of $439,000 in FY 2017.
"One project in particular [for 2018], Daisy Dallas Road, will consume the equivalent of about four years of our normal paving budget," he said.
Daisy Dallas Road, which is one of the most heavily traveled roads in the city, will be repaved from Hixson Pike to Hale Road at a cost of $475,000. Edwards said the city hasn't done as much maintenance on the road in the past few years as officials would have liked, so it's important to repave it now to prevent the road from deteriorating further. He added that a new planned residential development in the area is expected to increase traffic and wear-and-tear on the road.
The FY 18 budget also includes other smaller, ongoing paving projects, Edwards said, explaining that the order of those projects is determined by an engineer who ranks all the city streets in terms of quality and need for maintenance.
City employees will receive another pay raise in this year's budget. Edwards said the amount varies for individual staff members, but it's an average of around 3 percent. Staff received an average raise of 3 percent in last year's budget as well.