TCC holds first reading and public hearing for proposed FY24 Budget

The Toccoa City Commission held its first reading and public hearing for the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget.

On Monday, during the commission’s regular scheduled meeting, City Manager Billy Morse presented the Fiscal Year 2024 Proposed Budget for public comment.

“The Fiscal Year 2024 Proposed Operating Budget for the period begins on July 1, 2023. The budget the City of Toccoa is proposing is $46,644,945, that is an increase of 13.1 percent over the current fiscal year. This increase is due to increases in water and wastewater fund or wastewater projects and also grant funds for various projects of certain size,” he said.

Morse explained that the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget does not include a tax increase, nor does it include a utility rate increase.

“No property tax millage rate increase is proposed, no utility rate increases are proposed. The budget does include a proposed salary increase of 4 percent for all employees. The overall staffing of the city includes 185 full-time employees and health insurance funds are included in every department should health insurance rate increases occur,” he said.

Morse then highlighted the General Fund.

“Now looking specifically at the funds, the operational highlights for the general fund. The General Fund’s budget is $12,053,097. The revenues continue to be strong and stable, with the following notable adjustments: Local Option Sales Tax collection has increased by $235,515 based on FY23 receipts, Insurance Premium Tax increased by $100,000, the Georgia Municipal Association’s Lease Pool revenues of $130,000 are included to assist with vehicle and equipment purchases,” he said.

Morse says the Water Fund totals $14,002,163, the Solid Waste Funds total $1,302,882.

He then reviewed the Natural Gas fund and pointed out that the city would retire its bond debt at the end of the Fiscal Year.

“The Natural Gas Fund is budgeted at $13,443,054. The operating margin is estimated to be $6,771,508 and that margin is determined by taking the difference from gas sale revenue and subtracting the cost of purchasing gas. The highlight of this budget is the debt service in the gas fund for FY24 is $1,393,046 with a final payment on the Natural Gas Bond due on June 1, 2024. So, we are budgeting the final and last payment for the Natural Gas Bonds,” he said.

Lastly, Morse reviewed the Lake Toccoa Fund.

“The Lake Toccoa Facility’s fund. The Lake Toccoa Fund budget is proposed at $463,585. Operational highlights for the Lake Toccoa Fund include green fees of $98,500, cart rental fees of $87,185, Pro Shop sales and concessions of $57,000, event center rental revenues of $142,500, and expenses include the Pro Shop expenses of $150,530, golf course maintenance expenses of $188,342, event center expenses of $124,713,” he said.

A motion approving the first reading was made by Commissioner Terry Carter with Vice-Mayor Gail Fry seconding the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

The second and final reading of the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget will be held at the next regular scheduled meeting of the Toccoa City Commission on Monday, June 12, at 5 p.m.