At the regular city council meeting Oct. 18, Hinesville city council voted to adopt the 2018 millage rate and Fiscal Year 2019 budget.
City leaders also approved budgetary matters and a Job Compensation and Classification plan. Following a workshop held earlier this week to discuss the plan, council unanimously approved a recommendation from City Manager Ken Howard to move forward with Plan B modified for classification and equity changes.
Plan B modified includes classification changes effective Nov. 1, and equity changes effective on each employee’s FY2019 anniversary date, Howard said. The insurance premium change from 2/3 to 70 percent is effective July 1, 2019, he continued.
According to the outlined plan, the classification change totals $172,539; $169,253 from the general fund, and $3,286 from the water and sewer fund, Howard added. The equity adjustment totals $133,247; $125,082 from the general fund, and $8,165 from the water and sewer fund. Howard added that the insurance change, effective July 1, totals $23,837; $23,415 from the general fund, and $422 from the water and sewer fund.
All funding will be pulled from amounts calculated in the FY2019 budget, Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Ryon said. A total of $108,088 will be taken from the merit potential fund, $68,054 from the Christmas bonus fund, $148,367 from the operating reserve, and $5,114 from the water and sewer reserve. The remaining amount of $101,633 will be set aside for the FY19 operating reserve, Ryon said.
Council approved a FY18 budget amendment, with minor amendments to both the general fund and multiple grant fund, Ryon continued. There was some re-allocation of funds to cover minor expenses in areas that exceeded original budget, she said, as well as using seized funds to purchase Tasers for the police department.
The 2018 millage rate is set at 10.7 mils. According to Ryon, the city once again used the rollback rate according to the 2018 tax digest.
“Every one dollar citizens pay in property taxes, only .25 cents or less comes back to the city,” Ryon said.
The FY2019 budget was unanimously approved by council. The budget incorporates the 10.7 millage rate, the changes from the Job Classification and Compensation Plan, as well as the budget adjustments to both the healthcare contribution and Christmas Bonus fund.
Non-financial matters included the approval of the Firefighter Application Grant, presented by Assistant City Manager Ryan Arnold.
The grant, which allows the fire department to apply to the United States Department of Homeland Security for $17,421 grant to purchase replacement extrication equipment. The required cash match is 10 percent, Arnold said, and would not exceed $1, 935.
“This grant exists to replace equipment,” Arnold said. “It allows fire departments to purchase and replace their life-saving equipment, letting them perform the jobs more efficiently.”
The grant would present no additional funding in 2019, because the cash match would be figured into the fire departments FY20 budget request, he continued.
The application will be submitted sometime next week, and a response will arrive sometime in June or July, Arnold said.
The Hinesville Police Department will be participating in No-Shave November, Police Chief Bill Kirkendall said. It’s an effort to show solidarity for those fighting cancer, and in order to help support those with the disease, HPD chose to support Manna House. Manna House provides meals and support to those in need, including those who may be fighting cancer, Kirkendall said.
To participate, officers must provide two canned goods and a $30 donation to the Manna House.
“We’re doing this to help support their efforts,” Kirkendall said.