Social Circle won't increase millage rate

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- For the fifth year, Social Circle will not increase its millage rate.

City Clerk Susan Roper asked the Social Circle City Council on Tuesday to adopt a millage rate of 7.411.

"Our final tax digest figures came in very close to the estimates we used to prepare our budget this year," Roper said.

Keeping the millage rate at 7.411 "will allow us to meet our budget," she said.

In June, the City Council approved a $3,007,284 budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year that began July 1. This budget was slightly higher than the previous year's budget, which was $2,834,440.

The most significant increase in this year's budget came from other financing sources, which jumped from $7,000 to $121,000. City Manager Doug White explained in June that the city is planning to finance the purchase of three cars for the police department.

Even though the millage rate will not increase again this year, city utility customers have already seen a rate increase.

Social Circle adopted in October 2010 a net 25 percent increase for water usage and a net 15 percent for sewer service. As a result, the city's water and sewer budget is about 9 percent higher than last year. The water and sewer fund will operate on a $2,116,928 budget this next year, up from $1,945,295 in 2010-11.

In related news, the City Council approved a budget amendment of $5,736.20 to the water and sewer fund to replace a broken mixer motor.

The City Council is also considering a proposal by Legacy State Bank in Loganville to sell the city a little more than 14 acres in Dove Landing subdivision. Don Pall, a commercial lender with the bank, told the City Council the bank would consider selling the land for around $200,000, a price that "would result in a significant discount for the bank."

Mayor Jim Burgess asked Pall how much flexibility he had on that offer.

"We would entertain an offer," Pall said.

The mayor said that when the offer was first made a few months ago, City Manager White advocated purchasing the property in order to prevent a developer from building homes too close to the nearby wastewater treatment facility. He said the city could instead construct a recreational area and a larger public works facility.

The City Council agreed that it would take time to review surrounding property values and then get back to Pall with an offer.