Stonecrest City Council questions budget amendment, sets special called meetings for March 21
Council member Jazzmin Cobble questioned several discrepancies with the city's budget, incoming revenue and current assets. Photo by: OCGNEWS Glenn L. Morgan

Jazzmin Cobble
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The Stonecrest City Council will have a work session and special called City Council meeting on Wednesday, March 21, at City Hall to discuss a proposed ordinance to amend the city’s 2018 operating budget. The works session starts at 6 p.m. and the council meeting begins at 6:15 p.m.

The amendment was deferred last night (March 19) after City Council members raised several questions concerning proposed adjustments to the contract for CH2M, the firm hired to oversee the management of the city.

The amendment includes seven new positions and four new vehicles that would add over $600,000 to CH2M’s $16 million, five-year contract. CH2M currently receives about $3 million a year.

The proposed positions include an additional building inspector, parks and recreation director, two code enforcement officers, business license technician, web site content position and community affairs position. The amendment also funds uniforms and training for new staff.

The council had approved some of the positions to be added to the scope of the current municipal services contract when it adopted the 2018 budget in December. However, since city officials did not have the actual costs of the expanded scope of services at the time, the amendment was made to reflect those costs, said City Manager Michael Harris.

Council member Jazzmin Cobble questioned several discrepancies with the city's budget, incoming revenue and current assets. Photo by: OCGNEWS Glenn L. Morgan
Council member Jazzmin Cobble questioned several discrepancies with the city’s budget, incoming revenue and current assets. Photo by: OCGNEWS Glenn L. Morgan

Council member Jazzmin Cobble said at last night’s  City Council meeting more details were not only needed about the expanded services but modifications that were made to reflect any additional revenues coming into the city. Cobble questioned several discrepancies with the money being re-appropriated.

Cobble also said clarification is needed about the city’s assets, including ownership of four new vehicles included in the amendment. CH2M would own the new vehicles, according to the amendment, as it does other vehicles that CH2M purchased last year when the new city was getting off the ground and awaiting revenues.

“Why are we not buying the vehicles out of the general fund, if we have the money to do so? Are we just buying the vehicles through CH2M because that’s what we did before or was there some kind of discount through the contractor?” Cobble asked, adding that she didn’t realize the city didn’t own the assets.

City Manager Michael Harris said Cobble’s suggestion to purchase the vehicles from the general fund could be explored, if the council chooses to go that route.

City Manager Michael Harris and Project Manager Wayne Wright
City Manager Michael Harris and CH2M Project Manager Wayne Wright addressing City councilwoman’s suggestion to purchase vehicles

Councilwoman Diane Adoma said the council needed more information about the budget. Period. Adoma asked for an updated organization chart, along with updated costs for expenditures and revenues.

“I still don’t have a clear idea where money is going in the budget,” said Adoma.

Councilwoman Diane Adoma requested an updated organization chart, along with updated costs for expenditures and revenues and said that the council needed more information about the budget.
Councilwoman Diane Adoma requested an updated organization chart, along with updated costs for expenditures and revenues and said that the council needed more information about the budget.

There were also questions concerning proposed professional services that CH2M might provide for construction management projects for the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds. CH2M offered to provide management services, if needed, at double its hourly charge for professional services. The council raised several questions over exactly what they were being asked to approve concerning the agreement, however.

Harris said he plans to provide information to clarify the council’s concerns on Wednesday.

 

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