Kennesaw budget ups pay without tax increase
by Hannah Morgan
September 14, 2013 12:54 AM | 2519 views | 1 1 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KENNESAW — Residents won’t see a tax increase and city employees will see a 3 percent pay raise if the Kennesaw City Council adopts its proposed budget Monday night.

The budget would grow Kennesaw’s government by nine employees.

It would fund 193 full-time positions, up three from the current budget, and 30 part-time employees, up six.

The city of about 30,000 would add four workers to its 911 staff, hire a part-time custodian, and two police officers.

The budget also would pay for a horticulture director for Smith-Gilbert Gardens at a salary of between $40,000 and $45,000.

Mayor Mark Mathews said the new hires will help improve safety and fill empty positions within the city.

The city expects to save money in the coming year by outsourcing trash collection services to Republic Services, Mathews said.

In 2012, the city spent $2.4 million on sanitation. It expects to pay Republic $1.2 million to collect trash, saving the city an estimated $500,000, Mathews.

The saved money will be moved over to the storm water system.

“Over half of the collection system is outdated, dirty or nearing the end of its lifespan,” he said.

Outsourcing is expected to affect 17 employees, said spokesperson Pam Davis. Some will be offered positions by Republic Services, and a few were able to find other positions within the city, she said.

Republic is expected to begin handling Kennesaw trash collection within the month.

There are 8,400 households that have trash pickup now, Davis said. The transition to the new sanitation department should feel seamless to residents.

“We’ve learned how to work smarter and harder,” Mathews said, adding that the staff pay raises are “well deserved.”

The city’s general fund covers day-to-day operating costs such as paying for police, trash collection and firefighters. The proposed general fund for fiscal 2014 would balance revenues and expenses at $19.8 million, an increase of $700,000 or 3.72 percent from last year.

The total budget includes the general fund, special purpose local option sales tax dollars, and funds for the museum and gardens.

The proposed overall budget for next year balances revenues and expenses at $104.7 million, which is 0.1 percent more than the city allocated last year.

Councilman Matt Riedemann said the budget is expected to pass at Monday night’s council meeting, and he is happy with it.

“It has been a very smooth process, because we have looked through it six to seven times. It is balanced,” he said.

The city’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

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September 14, 2013
Local governments and surrounding school districts all getting pay raises or at least having no furloughs. Cobb County Schools have the highest number of furlough days yet (5) and have never restored the 2% pay cut given to all but top executive staff (who all got raises). What is wrong with the financial management at Cobb Schools?
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