According to a news release, City of South Fulton officials are set to consider a proposed 2021 fiscal year budget of $116 million this month.
During the revenue shortfall created by COVID-19, the city has maintained a strong fiscal foundation, while continuing to provide municipal services and avoiding layoffs and furloughs. Solid budget planning – and a thorough review of expenses yielded $7.8 million in expenditure reductions in the current fiscal year – were key factors in that success, according to City Manager Odie Donald II.
“The world is experiencing the most severe global health crisis in modern history,” Donald said. “COVID-19 has negatively impacted the way we move, purchase goods and services, educate our children, and deliver services worldwide. The great strides taken over the past two years to develop a strong financial footing are the primary reason the city is able to maintain its strong standing in the wake of the pandemic.”
Titled Resilient South Fulton, the proposed budget reflects the city’s commitment to ensure all residents feel and are safe. Planned additions in public safety personnel, vehicles and equipment all support that goal. The city also continues to focus on economic development and business opportunities through support for small businesses, financing for strategic land investments and revitalization efforts along its key commercial corridors.
With a desire among residents to make infrastructure improvements being a key reason for incorporating, South Fulton continues to implement a three-year, $17 million capital improvements campaign through the Urban Redevelopment Authority established at the start of the year. Projects funded by the authority include renovation of public facilities, parks improvements, fire station upgrades, road and bridge repairs, sidewalk construction and a new public safety headquarters.
“Our investments in infrastructure, economic development and public safety ensure we remain one of Georgia’s most vibrant and important cities,” Donald said, noting that the proposed FY21 budget was delivered ahead of all regulatory deadlines. “In a city with the potential of ours, we can and should make all of the critical investments necessary to ensure that residents in all seven districts are positioned to recover from the pandemic and receive world-class service delivery in a safe environment focused on inclusive prosperity.”
The mayor and city council are set to hear department budget presentations during public meetings on Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. and Aug 12 at 11 a.m. The city also will hold public hearings on a proposed millage rate increase to address the pandemic-related revenue shortfall. Those meetings are set for Aug. 12 at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. All meetings will be virtual and will be streamed live on the city’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com.cityofsouthfulton.
A copy of the proposed FY 2021 budget is available for citizens to review on the city’s website.