The Woodstock City Council conducted the first reading to set its millage rate for 2012 on Monday.
City staff recommends the city increase its millage rate from 7.292 to 7.885, which would be considered revenue neutral. The rate is considered revenue neutral because most taxpayers saw their property values decrease by the same percentage as the rate increase.
State revenue rollback calculation allows the city to raise its rate to any point below the revenue neutral rate to be recognized as a revenue tax decrease.
Finance Director Robert Porche said the city’s digest declined by 5.8 percent from 2011 and noted that it will help the city plan better once it officially changes its fiscal year to run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
“It would make more sense economically,” he added.
The city has scheduled two public hearings for residents to speak about the millage rate: 6:30 p.m. next Monday and 7 p.m. Aug. 27.
Both public hearings will be at the Chambers at City Center in downtown.
Mayor Donnie Henriques said the news of a possible revenue neutral rate increase is “not a surprise,” but noted the city started taking steps a few years ago to weather the economic storm.
Because of the city’s proactive thinking, Henriques said the city has faired better with handling dwindling revenue.
However, he noted he doesn’t see things getting better in the next year.
The Woodstock City Council also:
* Heard Henriques read a proclamation dedicating Aug. 25 as Support Our Seniors Day in the city;
* Heard an update on its stormwater utility program;
* Heard a presentation on the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011;
* Heard an update on the city’s wastewater treatment plant upgrades.
* Tabled recognition of the police department’s employee of the quarter;
* Conducted a public hearing and approved a resolution to transmit the Capital Improvement Element and Short Term Work Program to the state Department of Community Affairs and the Atlanta Regional Commission;
* Approved a conditional use permit request from Walton Communities to allow office use for .65 acres of property at 450 Chambers St., which is zoned downtown central business district;
* Approved a K-9 donation of services agreement with Sarah Cash to utilize her dog, Hank, a Labrador retriever, as the department’s K-9 dog;
* Approved a request from Chick-Fil-A for early work hours;
* Approved the 2012-13 annual renewal service agreement with Cherokee Office of Economic Development for ZoomProspector software application;
* Approved an alcohol license request from Ice Martini Bar at 380 Chambers St.;
* Approved an agreement with the Drug Enforcement Administration to assign a Woodstock officer to the HIDTA Task Force;
* Approved surplusing a 1985 Chevrolet Blazer;
* Heard the first reading to amend the city’s Oils and Grease, or FOG, Control Program, which would strengthen the city’s current regulations as they relate to fats, oils and grease and stop them at the source;
* Approved the Woodstock Aquatic Center’s sign; and
* Approved an addendum to the city’s Livable Centers Initiative with Pond & Company to include a hotel and hospitality market study.