FLOWERY BRANCH - Flowery Branch City Council got the 2013 audit they wanted to start 2014 on a good footing Thursday night from auditor Wayne Tuck of Gainesville.
Tuck gave Council a 'clean opinion', the term that means financially the city is in good shape, with revenues up and liabilities down.
"The General Fund's total assets went up by over $147,000, Tuck said. "Liabilities in the General Fund went down by over $40,000."
Tuck added that Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenues increased over $278,000 over 2012, reflecting the city's financial improvement.
CITY CLERK REPLACEMENT
Flowery Branch has a new city clerk to fill the position vacated unexpectedly last week by the resignation of Marja Burney, who served as city clerk since June, 2011.
City Manager Bill Andrew said Vickie Short, who went to work for the city a year ago, has performed well handling incoming revenues including property taxes.
"She's done an exemplary job," Andrew said. "She's been working with the former clerk quite a bit and certainly is qualified to fill the position for now."
Short will serve as interim clerk until the city fills the job permanently; Mayor Mike Miller said Burney gave no reason for her resignation.
A BIGGER FLOWERY BRANCH
The city grew by about 20 acres larger with final approval of annexation and rezoning of four parcels of property at Hog Mountain and Spout Springs Roads.
Mayor Mike Miller said the land was rezoned Highway Business because it is in an area of potentially rapid commercial and retail growth just off Interstate 985.
"This area's growing, "Miller said. "We have residential businesses growing and there's an uptick in retail."
Miller said that 'uptick' is expected to result from the growth and expansion of nearby subdivisions, including Sterling on the Lake, just up the road from the annexed properties.