LaGrange approves FY 2025 budget

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 29, 2024

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The LaGrange City Council approved the city’s $164 million budget for FY 2025 during an unusual Thursday meeting.

The council’s usual Tuesday work session and meeting were moved to Thursday due to a conflict with the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) annual conference in Savannah.

The budget brings with it a 3.8 percent electric rate hike due to Plant Votgle Units 3 and 4 coming online. City Manager Patrick Bowie said ultimately the nuclear plant will bring LaGrange residents lower electric rates but a temporary increase is needed to pay for $4.7 million in fixed costs for the additional reactors.

The change will not affect the 11.9 percent gas rate reduction promised in March due to lower natural gas costs.

Along with the electric rate increase, the council also approved a small rate hike for residential sanitation to recover some of the losses from residential sanitation. Bowie said the city was losing about $800,000 per year to provide the service.

Most customers, those with standard 96-gallon can pickups, will see a $2.65 per month increase to their sanitation bills. Premium and commercial customers will see a similar increase.

The council also amended the landfill disposal fee schedule to no longer provide discounts for multiple loads. Bowie said this change will not affect residential customers.

The city will continue to not collect any property tax, but to comply with state law the council voted to levy an Ad Valorem Tax for 2024 which will be rolled back with sales tax making the effective millage rate for the city, zero.

In other business, the council:

4 Adopted changes to the GMA Defined Benefit Retirement Plan.

4 Instituted an Electric Vehicle Charger Rebate that will provide $250 for all electric vehicle charger installations within the city.

4Rezoned property located at 815 Leeman Street from Campus General Industrial and Agribusiness District (CP-GI) to Traditional Neighborhood Mixed Use District (TN-MX) and amended the corresponding Comprehensive Plan Character Area Map.

4 Updated the method of appeal of certain city agency decisions to use a Petition for Review rather than a Writ of Certiorari process to appeal agency decisions.

4 Amended the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to allow individual cottage-style homes to be built within the Corridor Medium Density Residential (CR-MR) zoning.