City Council talks finances, SPLOST, petition at workshop - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

City Council discusses finances, SPLOST, petition

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The city of Savannah is dealing with another fallen tree that has caused damage. Except this time, the city is taking responsibility.

How is this situation different from Shanta Greene's case? Greene sued the city after a tree fell on the pickup truck she was in and left her maimed. A jury awarded her $12 million in that case.

In this situation, the city says there was report filed about the condition of the tree. The city told WTOC in the case of Greene no report or notice was filed with the city.

At Thursday's City Council meeting, council members voted to reimburse a homeowner nearly $37,000 after a tree fell on the porch of his Washington Avenue home. According to the city, Park and Tree crews inspected the tree in question after the homeowner reported the condition through a 311 call. The Park and Tree Dept. recommended the tree be taken down, but the tree fell before they were able to do that.

"Park and Tree inspected the tree as the result of the 311 call. They did not get back in time and the tree fell on top of the house," said Mayor Edna Jackson. "The neighbor did due diligence in reporting this instance."

Also at the meeting, council members approved the resolution for the city's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax list.

Before the meeting, the City Council held a workshop. One of the main agenda items was an update on the city's finances. The city is dealing with $3.4 million less in revenue from last year's budget. The city's chief financial officer said this is mainly due to the loss in Local Option Sale Tax  revenue after the settlement with the county.

The city is taking cost savings measures, and is anticipating close to $2.7 million in savings at the end of this year's budget. However, with the loss in revenue the city will still have to draw more than $1 million from the Sales Tax Stabilization Fund.

City Manager Stephanie Cutter said this is just a temporary balancing solution.

"We have to reexamine our service delivery whether it's the service frequency or the way we provide municipal services," Cutter said.

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