Dunwoody City Council takes long view on finances, expenditures for next five years

Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch (l) and Police Chief Mike Carlson welcome its newest officer, Alvin Slocum (Photo supplied by city of Dunwoody).

The Dunwoody City Council took a deep dive at its May 13 meeting regarding the city’s financial picture for the next five years.

Finance Director Dunwoody Assistant City Manager Jay Vinicki said the finance department instituted the effort to improve “the financial bandwidth, not to change but to improve the way we do things,” including more frequent updates on the revenues generated by the city that would be based on recent growth and trends.

Finance Director Richard Platto reviewed revenues for the past five years, noting that “the post-Covid economy has been robust in some areas and anemic in others.”

Commercial property revenues continue to rise, but residential property tax revenues are frozen, he said. However, the city has remained in the black during that period. While revenues are still rising, expenditures are gaining a bit faster, Platto said.

The city’s largest revenue generator, real property tax, has been positive for the last several years, and over the last 10, has only had two “down” years, he said.

Vinicki said revenue projections for the next five years show that the “pinch point” will occur in calculating the 2027 budget, when expenditures, if left as is, will outpace revenues.

“This doesn’t mean we will run out of money – we aren’t going to run out of money, but different decisions will have to be made,” Vinicki said.

Critical items that could be adjusted could include adjusted pay raises, a decision as to whether to continue the contracted ambulance service in Dunwoody, and adjustments to the plan to add more personnel to the police department, he said.

Mayor Lynn Deutsch said she would like to change the budgeting process to include several working sessions that would be open to the public, before it goes to the budget committee.

Deutsch said city officials will look at the budget during the next few years so that it will not be operating in crisis mode in 2027.

In other action, Vinicki recounted key requests discussed at the council’s recent retreat. The list includes more frequent sweeps around the city to take down illegal signs, using tracking data to measure the impact of events at the city’s parks, and focusing efforts that would soften the impact of trails on affected areas.

The council also:

  • Recognized the most recent police citizen’s academy graduates;
  • Swore in the city’s newest police officer, Alvin Slocum (pictured above);
  • Approved the hiring of several police public safety ambassadors
  • Approved funding for Phase 2 of the Vermack Road path at Dunwoody High School.

#Dunwoody #City #Council #takes #long #view #finances #expenditures #years

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *