Tucker’s evolution reflected in new $74 million budget

Tucker’s finances were the focus of the April 22 city council meeting. City Manager John McHenry and Finance Director Beverly Hilton presented recommendations for the first draft of the city’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget, which was presented at the meeting on April 8.

The $74 million total budget includes $33 million in the general fund, $20.5 million in capital funds, $6.9 million in SPLOST 2 funds and $3.9 million on stormwater, along with the remainder of American Rescue Plan Act and SPLOST 1 funds.

The budget also includes requests for seven new or expanded staff positions in the Parks and Recreation and Finance Departments, the Municipal Court and the City Manager’s office.

Funding requests were also made for a study to create a transportation and trail master plan, an Americans with Disabilities Act transition plan, an assessment of future space needs for a new city hall and an assessment of the city’s potential choices for annexation.

The city’s new capital improvement manager, Jason Gaines, described the process for creating a five-year capital improvement plan, which will include all of the city’s many construction and improvement projects in phased stages allocated to each year. The plan will be included in the budget and approved along with it.

Mayor Frank Auman described the capital improvement plan as a huge step forward and an improvement on how the city has done things up to this point.

Auman also pointed out that because of the wrap-up of funding received from sources like ARPA and the addition of the new Public Works department, the city’s budget is more complicated than in the past.

“This is the biggest most complex budget by far that we’ve undertaken yet,” Auman said.

McHenry said that the capital improvement plan can be revised each year if necessary but will allow projects to be planned out and budgeted over several years.

If necessary, a second budget workshop will be conducted on May 20, followed by public hearings and a vote at the May 28 and June 10 city council meetings.

In other news, Tucker plans to apply for a total of $12.4 million in Transportation Improvement Program funding for the Tucker-Northlake Trail ($5.9 million) and the Greenway Connector ($6.5 million). If approved, the city will match 20% of the funds.

The city also approved a $388,245 contract with Cajenn Construction and Rehabilitation Services, Inc., for repairs at 3944 Northlake Creek Drive, 3165 Jeri Lynn Drive, 2167 Silversmith Lane, and 2569 Arldowne Drive.

This story was provided by WABE content partner Decaturish.