The City of Cartersville presented a proposed 2023-2024 budget Tuesday afternoon showing a $36,740,020 increase from last year’s budget. The total budget that is proposed totals $216,266,535.

The Finance Director Tom Rhinehart stated that this is the single largest budget increase in his 15 years with the city. Two of the largest increases from last year is the purchase of commodities and expenses for capital projects. Those are proposed at just over an 11-million-dollar increase and a 20-million-dollar increase respectively.

Rhinehart explained the large increase in the purchase of commodities came from the increased price to purchase in gas and electricity for the city’s customers.

Following this Rhinehart went on to discuss the largest budgeted increase, which was expenses going towards capital projects at just over 20 million dollars from last year.

The water department has the most budgeted capital projects in this proposed budget including a dredge lagoon, WTP expansion, AMI System, new headquarter building, Waterford sewer relocation, high pressure system upgrades, Grassdale Road water main relocation, WPCP expansion, overlook lift station upgrade, and other system upgrades for a total of $28,452,180.

The gas department has the second most budgeted projects which include the AMI system, SK-Hyundai Line, and other various capital expenditures with a total budget of $13,928,880.

Lastly electric department projects include AMI system, building improvements, and various other capital expenditures for a total budgeted amount of $7,570,897.

There was also a discussion on the money being sent to outside agencies proposed in this budget. Most notably the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter is proposed to receive $15,000 compared to $2,000 that was budgeted last year.

The library system also had requested $16,575 in this budget but is proposed to only receive $1,200. However, Council member Calvin Cooley did state that they should look at potentially increasing that funding before this budget is finalized.

Other notable items from the presentation included an increase of 2% to water and sewer rates for customers both inside and outside of city limits. Cartersville having the lowest price for Gas and Electricity for customers in the last fiscal year. A proposed 5% salary increase across the board for all city employees. Lastly the potential of the city moving to a new pension plan contribution.

This proposed budget will be heard in the June 1st Cartersville City Council meeting where more discussion is likely.

Tune into WBHF 1450 AM and 100.3 FM tomorrow for the full story.