Council discusses ARPA funds, approves millage rate

Community, Election, News

Dahlonega, Ga. – During a special called meeting, the council approved an additional American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) application, proposed the fiscal year 2022 budget and the 2021 tax digest, and the millage rate for the fiscal year 2021.

During the Board of Zoning Appeals, the council approved one application and tabled another. The mayor also addressed the recent rise in COVID-19 at the end of the work session.

City Manager Bill Schmid presented the council with an additional application for more funds from the ARPA. The city already has been given $2.7 million but the state still has $30 million left to distribute. The application is for an additional $5 million in conjunction with an application the county plans to submit.

The council approved the proposed the fiscal year 2022 budget. This budget has been talked about at both meetings and work sessions and is available online for the community to see. To view the budget please visit https://dahlonega.gov/document/public-notice-fy2022-budget-hearing/

2021 Millage Rate

Finance Director Allison Martin presented the 2021 Tax Digest and Millage rate. The calculated rollback rate for the 2021 tax digest is 5.633 mills. The millage rate for 2021 is 5.508 which is lower than the rollback rate. The council approved the rollback rate and the millage rate that was presented to them.

“I just wanted to thank the city staff for working so hard with this budget not only is it clear and understandable also achieved a goal many of us on council share and that is to reduce the millage rate and it comes not only from doing a good job on the budget but increasing productivity and taking advantage of the new software we have,” stated Councilwoman Taylor.

At the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting application, BZA-21-6 was approved. The application, BZA-21-7 was tabled due to the applicant having COVID and not being able to attend the meeting.

COVID-19, the Delta Variant

Before adjourning the work session Mayor Norton addressed the recent rise in COVID numbers. Lumpkin County is currently 30% fully vaccinated and 34% have had at least one dose. Between July 31 and August 6 there have been 83 confirmed cases in Lumpkin county.

“Covid is running wild again, the virus is back with a vengeance. I’m not going to preach on you to get your vaccine or not to get it but I will simply state the fact that more people are dying of Covid without the vaccine than with it. In fact, 86% more I think,” commented Norton.

City Council Qualifying

A reminder that qualifying for the November election begins August 17 and goes through August 19. There is a table set up by the entrance to City Hall with all the paperwork needed for qualifying.

Table at City Hall with forms for qualifying.

Downtown Development Authority Appointment

The council appointed A.C. Moore II to the Downtown Development Authority.

Moore currently works at Altitude Benefits and Constulating, LLC. Moore lives in the city of Dahlonega.

“I feel like this is the highest level of civic duty is to serve on these boards and committees, some people think it jury duty but in jury duty if you don’t show up the judge can compel you to be there but on the city boards and committees you are there of your own free will,” commented Mayor Sam Norton.

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