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Tuesday February 9th, 2016 8:52AM

Helen approves $2.75-million general fund budget

By Rob Moore Reporter
HELEN - The Helen City Commission has approved the city's 2014-2015 budget, starting with more than $2.75 million in the general fund.<br /> <br /> During Tuesday afternoon's meeting, the commission voted to approve $2,753,034 in the general fund, which incudes $26,080 from prior year fund balance. <br /> <br /> The balanced budget also includes $805,900 in the water and wastewater fund; $750,000 in the hotel/motel tax fund; $1,010,600 in 2009 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenues; $291,213 in the 2014 SPLOST Fund; $625,000 in the other capital projects fund; $5,000 in the police department technology fund; $413,600 in the grant fund; and $200 in the tree fund.<br /> <br /> On the expenditure side, the city plans to break down its general fund as follows:<br /> <br /> * General overhead - $948,235;<br /> <br /> * Administration - $246,900;<br /> <br /> * City commission - $13,300;<br /> <br /> * Municipal court - $21,650;<br /> <br /> * Community relations - $7,000;<br /> <br /> * Fire department - $185,491;<br /> <br /> * Welcome center - $21,222;<br /> <br /> * Building and planning - $74,710;<br /> <br /> * Public works - $476,441;<br /> <br /> * Police department - $713,635; and<br /> <br /> * Solid waste - $44,450.<br /> <br /> On the expenditure side of the 8-percent hotel/motel tax collections, the breakdown is as follows:<br /> <br /> * Transfer to general fund (60 percent of the 5 percent collected) - $281,250;<br /> <br /> * Transfer to general fund (50 percent of the 3 percent collected) - $140,625;<br /> <br /> * Contract with convention and visitors bureau (40 percent of the 5 percent collected) - $187,500;<br /> <br /> * Contract with CVB (50 percent of the 3 percent collected) - $140,625.<br /> <br /> City Clerk Marilyn Chastain said the commission can't set a final millage rate quite yet.<br /> <br /> Chastain said she anticipates that if there are no substantial changes in valuation the city can meet its budget with a millage of 6.71 mills, down from 6.739 mills in the current year. <br /> <br /> "We won't be able to set a final millage rate until we get a final tax digest from the county," Chastain said.
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