West Point 2022 budget smaller than 2021’s

Published 8:00 am Friday, October 29, 2021

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At the West Point City Council meeting on Tuesday, City Manager Ed Moon went over the city’s proposed 2022 budget. He said the total amount is $17,763,123.36, whereas the 2021 budget is $18,131,374.

“The items that are in that 2022 budget that are somewhat different from the previous budget,” Moon said. “I did ask the department directors to look at their budgets and cut their operational costs. And I did that in order to provide what I think is a warranted cost of living adjustment to the employees that have really worked over the last two years in a very difficult situation with everything that’s going on in our community.”

Moon said the purchase of two police vehicles is in the budget. He said the city will be paying an increase of $30,000 annually for IT security.

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Residents can find the new city budget online or as paper copies at city hall. To view it online, go to www.cityofwestpointga.com. Hover your cursor over Government and click Agendas & Minutes under Elected Officials. Scroll down to Oct. 26, 2021, and click View under Meeting Packet. The budget is towards the end of the document.

The public hearing for the proposed 2022 budget will be on Nov. 4.

In other business at the meeting, the council discussed the Harris County Business Park Expansion. Ed Moon said the project was an industrial site expansion that Harris County is undertaking. It would take place on the north end of the park.

“They are looking at creating a 35 acre parcel for a future industrial project,” Moon said. “They were working on some revenue sources in order to get this done, and the county’s already approved some of the county funding to support the project.”

Moon said years ago, West Point committed along with Harris County to work together in the park to fund industrial development. Moon said he thinks this has been a success.

“It will require some infrastructure to be built,” he said. “The city has in the past provided its funding for the utilities to be built in the Harris County park. We’ve paid for everything that’s out there.”

Moon said the project would cost West Point about $638,000. It would involve sewer, water, and gas improvements. The total project will cost $2,382,831.97.

Moon said some of the improvements would be paid for with SPLOST 2014 Harris County funds.

Moon also went over the possibility of West Point signing a resolution with Electric Cities of Georgia, Inc., which helps member cities maximize the performance of their utilities. He said the current language in the contract contains a formula based on kilowatt hours and how they’re allocated by each city. He said Electric Cities wants to change the language to a fixed cost to each city, so all cities would pay the same amount on an annual basis.

“Currently, we pay $6,883 a year for the service,” Moon said. “Under the new contract, if the council approves that, our fee would increase by $765, so, we’d [pay] $7,648 on an annual basis. 75 percent of the membership has to approve it, so if the city did not approve it and the other cities did, we’d stay in the contract. We’d still be obligated to pay that amount.”

The council briefly went over potential traffic calming measures for the four-way stop at Avenue C and E 7th Street, the three-way stop at MLK Drive and Hatchet Street, the four-way stop at Avenue K and E 9th Street, and the three-way stop at E 6th Street and Beallwood Drive.

Moon said the city sent about 30 questionnaires to residents that would be affected by traffic calming measures and received about eight back. All but one were in favor of the measures.

West Point Mayor Steve Tramell said Jane Fuller and Marshall Sapp had expressed interest in being reappointed to the Historic Preservation Commission.

These items will be discussed again on Nov. 4.