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Lovejoy approves FY14 budget

LOVEJOY — City officials will be working with a hefty $3.38 million budget during the next fiscal year.

The municipal body approved the fiscal year 2014 spending at its regular meeting Monday. The city is planning a budget $1 million more than the current budget, partly due to projected increases in revenues.

Council members anticipate $1.29 million in sales tax revenues, up $747,000 from revenues expected this year. Altogether, they project a $1.25 million increase in revenues.

The FY14 budget accounts for staffing in city government and maintenance and repairs on city-owned equipment. It includes plans to purchase a $67,000 public safety vehicle and an $80,000 investment into a new community garden.

However, most line-item increases were related to external cost hikes. The city council amended its 2013 budget back in April to add $68,500 from reserves.

Mayor Bobby Cartwright said then that the changes were made to offset unforeseen increased costs for products and services such as office supplies and insurance premiums.

He said other increased costs were related to maintenance, software, legal fees, postage and delivery and accounting and auditing.

Monday’s meeting also included a presentation on possibly adding a “green” building code to the city’s policies. City engineer Mark Whitely discussed the statewide push to create incentives in opting for sustainable construction.

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Special Photo The rain held off as Lovejoy residents turned out for Saturday’s block party.

Officials said council members hope to eventually add to its employee benefits packages. The city plans to allow a request for proposals to seek potential vendors that offer retirement and supplemental insurance.

Municipal Court Judge Clay Davis recommended Crandle Bray be the associate municipal court judge.

Officials announced two upcoming council-sponsored events, including Family Movie Night May 24. They will show “Wreck-it-Ralph” at the Lovejoy Community Center, 11622 Hastings Bridge Road.

Lovejoy’s Third Annual Block Party series continues June 8 in Mayor’s Park, 11620 Hastings Bridge Road. Cartwright will host the free picnic from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.