Albany’s budget will increase, but taxes won’t be raised

Albany’s budget will increase, but taxes won’t be raised

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - If approved, Albany’s budget will increase 5.6% next year.

However, city leaders say your taxes won’t go up.

City Manager, Sharon Subadan said approving the fiscal year 2020 budget is the most important decision commissioners will make this year.

It affects tax dollars and whether property taxes will increase.

Subadan said under her proposed budget, you won’t see that raise.

The City of Albany’s budget will most likely increase this upcoming fiscal year but city leaders say it’s anything but bad news for residents.

“We’re on the road to success,” said Subadan.

The 2020 budget will go up about 5.6% from last year, with a proposed budget of $288.3 million now.

City leaders say Albany residents' millage rates won't be raised this year. (Source: WALB)
City leaders say Albany residents' millage rates won't be raised this year. (Source: WALB)

“While storms do not define us, we cannot ignore the impacts of Hurricane Michael,” Subadan said.

October’s storm cost the city $24 million, money that may take years to be reimbursed. But while the budget may rise, your taxes won’t.

“This will be the fifth consecutive year we have balanced your budget without an increase in a millage rate,” said Subadan.

Ten million T-SPLOST dollars, almost $4 million grant funding dollars, and moving money in other funds, will support a larger budget.

“It’s actually a 2.6% decrease in the city’s millage rate in the last five years,” said the city’s Finance Director, Derrick Brown.

City commissioners will have time to discuss the proposed budget before anything is finalized.

Commissioners won’t approve the budget until the end of June.

More from City Commission:

Albany City Commissioners are negotiating with developers to build the proposed

Albany Commons. That would be a 90 unit, $18 million apartment complex.

DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT: A developer wants to create Albany Commons: a 90 Unit apartment complex looking to house Albany State University an Albany Technical College students. If approved by City Commissioners, it would be built at 310 West Oglethorpe Blvd.

Posted by Grason Passmore WALB on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Geared at housing college students, it would be built downtown on West Oglethorpe Boulevard, right across from the bus station.

The big sale pending sign behind me means one thing: a developer wants to build a new apartment complex, called the Albany Commons, here at 310 West Oglethorpe Boulevard.

For sale sign at 310 West Oglethorpe Boulevard. (Source: WALB)
For sale sign at 310 West Oglethorpe Boulevard. (Source: WALB)

Albany Commons is an $18 million project.

It's a 90 unit complex, able to house 300 to 350 beds.

It's geared towards Albany State University and Albany Technical College students.

It would not be university housing, but the developers said their goal is to give students somewhere off campus to live.

The apartment complex would also contribute to the city's downtown revitalization project, working to bring young people to the downtown area.

“For this particular project include the removal of slum and blight. As you guys know, there are some buildings there that do need improvement. We’ll have the opportunity to certainly be able to do that. This is an 18 million dollar project that will be injected into the downtown,” said Downtown Manager, Lequrica Gaskins.

The developers are asking city commissioners to loan the project a little more than two million dollars.

And sign a bond for title arrangement that would pay for 15% of the project costs.

It would be built in January of 2021.

The developer says this is what the apartment complex could potentially look like. First, city commissioners will have to sign a memorandum of understanding with the developer before the contract actually gets started.

Another City Commission Update:

Developers can now get started on the new boutique hotel in Downtown Albany.

City Commissioners signed a memorandum of understanding today.

That means the developers, the city and the Downtown Development Authority have all agreed to terms for the new project.

The city will loan $3 million dollars to the new hotel.

It’s a total expected investment of $13.6 million.

“Which includes three important elements. A data center, a hotel boutique, and a restaurant with a roof top experience,” said Project Attorney, Dan McRae.

The hotel is expected to create around 40 jobs.

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