You are the owner of this article.

Merit raises included in Rome's budget, city commission to unveil spending plans tonight

  • ()
City of Rome

Money for city employee merit raises of up to 4 percent is included in the 2018 general fund budget the Rome City Commission is slated to get tonight.

However, both the city and its employees will see a 3-percent hike in their share of the costs of health insurance.

Commissioner Evie McNiece, who chairs the finance committee, is scheduled to present the proposed spending plans for the 27 separate accounts the board funds each year.

The drafts will be available for review online and at city hall before commissioners officially adopt them next month.

Commissioners caucus at 5 p.m. and start their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 601 Broad St. Both sessions are public.

The two largest accounts are the general fund — which uses tax revenue to pay for daily operations — and the water and sewer fund, which gets its money from customer fees.

Transit, building inspection, solid waste, community development and the Stonebridge Golf Course are among the other departments that maintain separate budgets.

“The city is looking at just over $117 million in proposed expenditures for next year,” Finance Director Sheree Shore told committee members before they signed off on the drafts.

No millage rate increase is being proposed and revenue from property taxes is projected to be right at 2017 levels. The state is expected to allocate more funding from tag and title fees and Floyd County is contributing $20,000 more for environmental services. Other sources of revenue are expected to drop or remain flat.

Overall, revenues and expenses for the general fund are projected to rise 2.3 percent. Commissioners are expected to add or reinstate several positions that were cut due to the budget crunch during the recession.

The city and county will split the cost of a transportation planner. City Manager Sammy Rich told the committee a planner is “critical” to ensure the community makes the best use of the increase in money coming from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Also, Rome and Floyd County will each contribute $50,000 toward the cost of an update to their 10-year comprehensive plan, which is required by the state to maintain their certified local government status. The remaining $15,000 will come from the planning department’s fund balance.

Planning Director Artagus Newell is reviewing proposals from consultants, who will assist in the process. Newell said he’s planning a number of community meetings next year to determine how residents want to see the county develop over the long term.