West Point Council approves 2024 budget

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2023

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The West Point City Council approved the 2024 proposed budget during a business meeting on Dec. 11. The city’s total budget for next year will be for $28,433,382, which is an increase of $6,973,707 from the current year’s budget. 

The proposed budget had a significant increase from the previous year largely due to increased tax revenue and utility revenue, according to West Point City Manager Ed Moon. 

The increased tax revenue comes from some automotive industries in West Point with PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Tax) incentive programs which have now expired. The PILOT program is an agreement which provides reduced tax payments as tax incentives for industries entering the community.

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The higher utility revenue is in large part due to a cryptomining company located in West Point. EZ BlockChain came into the city in 2020 and has become the largest utility customer in the city electric system. 

With the increased budget, the city plans to create eight new staff positions, including one in general government, one in the police department, one in the fire/EMS department, one in public works, two in 911/Communications and one in the utilities department.

Some funds will also be allotted for purchasing a new loader truck, ambulance and digger derrick truck for the utilities/electric department. New police cruisers and general service vehicles will also be purchased. 

The city held public hearings on the proposed budget on Nov. 8 and Nov. 28 but received no public comment.

The total budget includes a General Fund budget of $8,634,800, Electric budget of $12,543,840, Water & Sewer budget of $3,926,116, Gas budget of $1,257,726, E-911 budget of $422,550, SPLOST budget $1,138,000 and Sanitation budget of $510,350. 

It also includes 6% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).