Brunswick city officials held a workshop Monday to discuss the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1.
City commissioners asked Finance Director Cathy Mills and City Manager Jim Drumm questions about specific items in the total budget of more than $46 million. The millage rate of 13.219 is unchanged for the fourth consecutive year.
After a question about the cost of the upcoming city elections in November, Mayor Cornell Harvey said every request by the county will be questioned.
“This commission will scrutinize anything coming from the county,” he said. “We’re not rubber stamping anymore.”
When asked about the large number of city bank accounts, Mills explained that separate accounts are required for different departments and SPLOST accounts, which makes it complicated to manage.
Harvey asked for “seed money” in the budget to help fund Urban Redevelopment Agency projects.
“They don’t have anything to operate,” he said. “They are dealing with millions of dollars for us, and we give them absolutely nothing. We hold them accountable even though they have nothing to work with.”
Many of the discussions were about downtown Brunswick, but Commissioner Felicia Harris asked if there were any incentives to encourage growth and new businesses in other parts of the city.
Harvey, agreed, and said more attention needs to be spent on other parts of the city.
“We have put more emphasis on downtown in recent years,” he said. “We need to focus on the inner city.”
Overall, Harvey said he thought it was a good budget “with a few little quirks to work out.”
Another public workshop to discuss the budget will be held at 4:30 p.m. on June 19 at Old City Hall. A special-called meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on June 27 to approve the budget.