DUNWOODY, Ga. — The Dunwoody City Council adopted a $39.6 million 2020 budget with little dispute Oct. 28.

The proposed budget assumes a tax rate of 2.740 mills, unchanged since Dunwoody incorporated in 2008. With this rate and other revenue sources, the proposed budget anticipates $39.6 million in revenue. 

The General Fund budget, which funds everyday operations, is $25.6 million, a 1.2 percent increase from 2019. The budget maintains a four-month minimum reserve. 

The Capital budget includes $3.7 million for repaving, $1.4 million for intersection improvements at Chamblee Dunwoody and Spalding Drive and $1 million for a sidewalk on Peeler Road from Equestrian Way to Brook Run Park.

In personnel, the proposed budget includes $109,000 for two additional sworn police officers, $160,000 for additional contractual parks positions. One difference from the mayor’s original proposal was an increase in parks positions from one full-time and one part-time to two full-time. 

Other changes out of committee were additional funding for employee retirement plans and allocating $60,000 within economic development for art efforts. All of these were offset by reserve funds.   

Two citizens spoke against the budget at the one public hearing that was held Oct. 14. The opponents said the budget was too high, criticized the art funding and asked for more transparency of the city’s financial documents. 

One change was made to the budget at the Oct. 28 meeting. In the original proposal, $50,000 was allocated for an environmental study related to the I-285 managed lanes project. Councilwoman Lynn Deutsch asked the money be reserved for professional services for the same project. 

“Because we don’t know the timing and what exactly we might need, and GDOT has turned inward and is not sharing, I think we’re better off leaving our options open for what services we might need,” Deutsch said. 

The funding could still be used for an environmental study, or it could be used for a traffic survey or litigation. The amendment passed unanimously along with the budget. 

In other business, the city approved a contract with MARTA and the Perimeter Community Improved District to construct a mid-block pedestrian signal across Hammond Drive at the entrance to the MARTA station.

The segment of road has the highest number of mid-block pedestrian crossings in Dunwoody, according to city reports, with more than 20 crossings per hour in the morning and afternoon and nearly 60 crossings per hour at lunch. 

The PCID secured a $320,000 federal grant for the crosswalk and is providing the local matching funds of $80,000 and construction management oversight. 

The city’s only financial obligation is for ongoing maintenance which is estimated to be $3,000 a year.

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