Cumberland CID ’13 budget includes pay hikes
by Jon Gillooly
November 30, 2012 01:18 AM | 3496 views | 1 1 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tad Leithead - Cumberland CID Chairman  (MDJ FIle)
Tad Leithead - Cumberland CID Chairman (MDJ FIle)
CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland Community Improvement District approved a budget for fiscal year 2013 that awards all four CCID employees a 4 percent raise.

The CCID’s fiscal year runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

The board adopted a budget that projects revenues at $5.47 million and expenses at $2.47 million. By comparison, revenue for 2012 was $5.2 million while expenses were $2.7 million.

“We’re projecting an increase in revenue and a decrease in expenses,” CCID Chairman Tad Leithead said.

That’s because the tax assessor’s valuation of CCID properties, which had declined since 2008, increased in 2012.

“If the value of the tax base goes up, then our collections go up and vice versa,” Leithead said.

Next year’s expenses are lower because the CCID will make do with four employees, instead of five, as had been budgeted for in 2012.

The CCID pays the Cobb Chamber of Commerce to provide administrative services. The Chamber dedicates four full-time employees to the CCID: an executive director, Malaika Rivers; an executive assistant, Roxanne Plummer; Lisa Fortier, manager of community programs and outreach; and Brantley Day, operations director.

“They calculate their costs for those employees, and we reimburse the Chamber on a dollar-for-dollar basis,” Leithead said.

The CCID board determines Rivers’ raises. Rivers herself determines raises for the other three employees.

Leithead said the CCID board felt it was appropriate to award the staff a 4 percent raise, up from last year’s 3 percent raise.

Rivers received a base salary of $169,260 in 2012 and will receive $172,640 in 2012. She receives four weeks of vacation and 12 sick days.

“This is standard Chamber policy with regard to someone of her tenure,” Leithead said. “She gets business-related mileage, she gets reimbursement for business-related travel, business-related meals, but that would be an absolutely standard part of any executive director’s compensation.”

The CCID doesn’t have an earmark for a rainy day reserve fund per se.

“Right now we have $20 million in the bank,” Leithead said. “Of that $20 million, $11 million is committed, and Malaika projects that we’ll probably commit another $6.5 million over the remaining life of the CID. Our best projection is that we have $17.5 million remaining to be spent on whatever we decide to spend it on that currently is not allocated.”

The CCID will operate until 2018, at which time its board will vote on whether to renew it.

Leithead said the way the CCID operates makes it difficult to report whether it had a surplus or not at the end of the year.

“If we were a business, we’ve got roughly $5.5 million in revenue and $2.5 million in expenses, so a very simplistic answer would say we have $3 million in surplus, but that would be inaccurate because we take that money and we spend it on projects, and our job is to spend it on projects,” Leithead said. “We’re not supposed to wind up with a big bank balance. … We’re supposed to spend it on improving our community. We collect the revenue necessary to cover our overhead expenses and then we take the balance of it and we spend it on projects.”

The CCID encompasses 5.5 square miles and includes 180 businesses. Businesses in the CID agree to pay an extra 5 mills in property taxes to finance the CCID.

Rivers said the CCID consists of less than two percent of Cobb’s land mass, but includes 16 percent of the county’s commercial digest value.

From 1988 and 2011, Rivers said the CCID had collected $100 million in taxes. From 2012 to 2018, the CID expects to collect an additional $33 million.

Leithead said he was extremely pleased with the budget.

“We really do believe that we’re operating efficiently, … that we’re attending to our fiduciary obligation with regard to our money,” he said. “We’re extremely proud of the work that our staff is doing. They’re really delivering value to the entire constituency of the Cumberland CID.”

Also Thursday, the CCID added a new board member, developer Bob Voyles, and agreed to continue with its program manager, voting to hire Jacobs Engineering for calendar year 2013 at a cost not to exceed $635,700.

The board also approved a higher cost for a two-mile addition to the Bob Callan Trail.

Last month the board canceled groundbreaking for the addition after bids came in $409,000 over budget. The lowest bid was from Johnson Landscaping, at $2.118 million.

“The additional information is that we actually experienced $200,000 in cost overruns based on some scope changes that were made to the project,” Leithead said. “It made it better, but it increased the cost. The other was that the county required us to put a $200,000 construction contingency into the budget which we had not been carrying. … We decided to build the project that we envisioned so we approved the total cost increase.”

Construction should begin soon with completion expected to take 12 to 18 months, Leithead said.

The proposed two-mile asphalt segment will connect the Cochran Shoals and Palisades areas of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
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November 30, 2012
Isn't there anything more newsworthy than 4 employees getting a 4% pay increase??? How much did you get paid to write this powder puff article??? Once again, the MDJ is about as informative as a fence post. This is some of your finest work!!
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