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Dec. 14, 2017 - City Council met all day on Wednesday, spending the morning discussing strategic priorities - big-ticket items that will likely require bond financing.
These are projects in addition to the traditional five-year capital projects. An analysis of that spending showed that most of the money went to citizen services and infrastructure. Council members agreed to devote 75% of the additional money to economic development – projects that are designed to increase the tax base and generate money that can go to the city’s annual needs.
Depending on the amount of growth Council members are comfortable with, the city could have about $74 million to devote to key projects on top of the $75 million ($15 million per year) it plans to spend on traditional needs. Projects discussed at the morning meeting included:
Council agreed to keep moving forward on the aquatics center, but is expected to take up details of that and other spending next month.
At the afternoon work session, Council heard from outside auditor Cherry Bekaert, which offered an unmodified or “clean” report on the city’s finances.
Finance Director Karl Daughtrey noted that in fiscal year 2017, the city managed to both make more money than expected and spend less money than expected, giving the city’s fund balance a boost.
Chief among the good news: The city collected more property tax than expected due to new construction completed during the year. Meals tax revenue also continued to increase, said Daughtrey, although it appears the pace of growth may be slowing. In other action Wednesday, Council: