Newnan tax rate remains the sameBy JOHN A. WINTERS
Newnan City Council approved the 2012 millage rate, keeping it the same as the last two years, during its regular meeting Tuesday.
Council also approved ordinance amendments relating to a declaration of a state of emergency and approved an interfund loan from the general fund to the 2013 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax fund for construction of the city’s new public safety complex.
All council members must approve the millage rate for it to be effective. Because councilman Clayton Hicks was not present Tuesday, the rate will have to be voted on a second time.
Also Tuesday, council approved amendments relating to laws during a declaration of emergency.
“At present the City of Newnan does not have ordinances that allow for issuing a ‘State of Emergency’ during a disaster,” wrote Newnan Police Chief Buster Meadows in a letter to council. “These ordinances will help to restore quality of life quicker and safer and ensure better protection of life and property.
“These ordinances give the citizens of Newnan better protection from would-be looters and illegal repair companies,” the chief said.
The proposals would allow the mayor to declare a state of emergency. If the mayor is unavailable, that would fall to the mayor pro tem and then the city manager.
Another ordinance allows city officials to set curfews and designate which individuals would be exempt from that curfew, which primarily would be those in public safety.
Also included is an ordinance dealing with overcharging, which would forbid any company or individual to overcharge for any goods, materials, services or housing with the city.
Other approved ordinances will require building contractors to register with the city; suspend requirements on accepting the lowest bid on public works projects and other fees; and allow temporary dwelling facilities, such as trailers, while repair work is ongoing. All the ordinances will require a second reading.
Also Tuesday, council approved an interfund loan from the city’s general fund to the 2013 SPLOST fund to cover the initial funding for the $8 million public safety complex.
“It will take approximately 2.5 years to accumulate enough funds in the SPLOST 2013 fund to cover the construction costs,” according to staff documents. “Staff researched the option of a bond issuance to prefund the construction costs, but interest and debt service costs would have added over $500,000 to the cost of the project.”
The proposal calls for the loan from the general fund not to exceed $3.5 million payable in two or more installments to the SPLOST 2013 fund.
The loan would be repaid in installments by year-end 2016.