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City to cut budget for 2009

POSTED: December 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A decline in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue due to a staggering economy forced Dawsonville City Administrator Kim Cornelison to suggest a much leaner budget proposal for the coming year.

  

Down more than $500,000 from 2008’s budget, Cornelison’s proposed 2009 budget at approximately $2.8 million does not include any new hires or additional services offered.

  

“There are positions that are vacant that we’re not going to fill,” she said.

Cornelison said the plan also does not call for cutting services, but the city, like most throughout the state and nation, must cut back.

  

If additional cuts are warranted, Cornelison said the cuts would be made to the general funds budget, rather than enterprise funds, which includes services such as water, sewer and garbage.

  

“The budget has been prepared with frugality,” she told the city council at Monday night’s meeting. “We are in budget so far this year. The staff has been pretty frugal.”

  

The city had anticipated sales tax revenue collections for 2008 to be more than $900,000 by yearend, although as of Oct. 31, collections were just over $635,000, Cornelison said.

  

“We still have two months to go, but really it’s next year that I’m worrying about,” she said.

  

Cornelison encourages the community to shop locally as much as possible to help offset the decline in sales tax revenues.

  

“People need to understand how much that impacts their local government and what we’re able to do for them,” she said.

  

The city council approved the proposed budget’s first reading and will hear the second reading at a special called meeting at 5 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex.

  

E-mail Michele Hester at michele@dawsonnews.com.

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