Community News Ringgold approves 2018 budget

Community News Ringgold approves 2018 budget

January 10th, 2018 by Emily Crisman in Community North Georgia

A series of improvements at the historic Ringgold Depot comprise some of the largest expenditures in the city's fiscal 2018 budget.

Photo by Angela Lewis Foster /Times Free Press.

The city of Ringgold's recently approved budget for 2018 reflects a decrease in expenditures compared to last year. Running from January to December, the new year's budget is $7,544,000, down from 2017's $8,560,746.

The city maintains a balanced budget, with expenditures equal to revenue.

"The main reason for the difference is due to large capital projects incurred last year," said City Manager Dan Wright.

The most costly capital improvement projects in 2017 included the addition of a turning lane to the previously two-lane Highway 41, and the addition of a turning lane to the previously one-lane Chapman Road, along with storm drain improvements. The total cost for those three projects was in excess of $1 million, he said.

Other capital improvements last year included the completion of the Nashville Street streetscaping project. The city also switched from dry to liquid chemicals at its water treatment plant, purchased a new junk and brush truck, relocated water and sewer lines for the Highway 151 widening project — a three- to four-years-long state project for which the city's portion is nearly complete — and purchased emergency and other fleet vehicles.

The main expenditures for 2018 include the replacement of the Ringgold Depot's deck.

"The wooden deck that has been a real maintenance issue is being replaced by a stamped, stained concrete with new steel handrails," Wright said.

The project also includes a ramp for people with disabilities on the south side of the depot near Barger Bridge, providing visitors who park on McClain and Depot streets parking lot access to the depot. The total cost is approximately $130,000, he said.

Other expenditures include up to $30,000 in building improvements to City Hall's exterior; up to $200,000 for vehicles and heavy equipment in the Sewer and Public Works departments; $10,000 for a new mower for the Parks and Recreation Department; and $110,000 for the first phase of the Boynton Drive sidewalk project.

City officials are still in the process of determining the termination point of the Boynton sidewalks, which will eventually connect to those being added to Highway 151 as part of the state's road widening project. The cost of the winning bid will help determine such particulars, said Wright.

Email Emily Crisman at ecrisman@timesfreepress.com.