Albany leaders look over proposed budget

Albany leaders look over proposed budget
No property tax increases. (Source: WALB)
No property tax increases. (Source: WALB)
Derrick Brown. (Source: WALB)
Derrick Brown. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany leaders are mulling over a $272.9 million Fiscal Year 2019 proposed city budget.

While there is plenty of welcome news in there for citizens, there is at least one area that will have an impact on some people's wallets in the coming years.

"Our overall budget is in the black. Revenues exceed expenses for the first time in at least the last four years since I have been directly involved in the budget," said Albany's Finance Director Derrick Brown.

Brown said there will be no utility rate increase under the budget, and even the city's millage rate is getting a slight roll back from 9.804 to 9.800.

"What individuals are paying today, they will continue to pay going into next year," said Brown.

But, there are changes ahead in the coming years that Albany Utilities customers can prepare for now.

"We have a multi-year plan to get the stormwater rate to $6.50 per ERU. Currently, the rate is at $4.75. So, we need to implement that $1.75 to get us up to $6.50," said Brown.

That means the city's stormwater customers need to prepare for a roughly 30 percent increase in the future, which a city spokesperson confirmed could likely be doled out in gradual increments to get to that $1.75 increase.

"It won't be this year. No rate increases, no property tax hikes. A very good budget for this year," said Brown.

City leaders have to approve a final budget by June 30.

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