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Council reviews FY15 budget

LOVEJOY — City officials are reviewing a positive fiscal year 2015 budget.

Council tabled its $3.45 million budget proposal Monday for continued review until its May meeting. The budget includes revenues that are expected to exceed expenditures by $7,638.

The proposed budget includes $200,000 devoted to the city’s new development authority as well as $783,701 for public safety, $96,816 for courts and probation services and $291,231 for its community center and events held there.

Parks and recreation and community garden program would receive $128,000, while the street department would get $148,104 for operations.

Information technology is itemized to receive a smaller share of the budget with $45,000 but city hall gets the lion’s share of $1.75 million on the proposed budget. City hall money goes to city operations; administrative and insurances costs; accounting, banking and legal fees; capital improvements; and salaries.

Mayor Pro Tem Tommy Green presided over the meeting in Mayor Bobby Cartwright’s absence.

The council voted to renew the mayor’s contract as city manager. He serves in both capacities, said city spokeswoman Kaycia Rhone.

Rhone said the mayor receives a stipend to do the work of city manager. His salary as mayor, according to the proposed budget, would be $6,000 for FY15 — the same as members of the elected council.

Cartwright, she said, will host the next cookout in the 2014 Summer Block Party Series set May 10, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. The event is at Mayor’s Park, 11622 Hastings Bridge Road, and includes music, games and food.

The event will follow the city’s participation in Clayton County’s Relay for Life fundraiser May 9-10, at Charles Drew High Stadium, 6237 Garden Walk Blvd. in Riverdale.

Additionally, police Chief Mark Harris lauded a successful Easter weekend event slowed but not hampered by inclement weather.

The police department hosted its third annual Easter egg hunt April 19, in cooperation with Berean Baptist Church and Sacred Praise United Methodist Church. Organizers moved the activities inside City Hall because of the rain.

Harris said roughly 70 kids and their families were treated to baskets of candy-filled plastic eggs, games and hamburgers and hotdogs.

Rhone said seniors citizens are invited to sign-up for the city’s free lawn service program, which kicks off May 1.

It is called the “Lovejoy Mowing in the Right Direction” is a free lawn mowing service for seniors courtesy of Lovejoy Probation Department and Code Enforcement.

Recipients of the service must be 65 or older and unable to physically provide their own lawn care. They also must live within the city limits. The property mowed must be their primary residence. Officials note that all homes applying for the program will be inspected prior to approval.

Residents are asked to register with code enforcement.

Applications are available at Lovejoy City Hall, 2296 Talmadge Road, or Lovejoy Community Center, 11622 Hastings Bridge Road. Mail those applications to the City of Lovejoy at Attn: Code Enforcement, PO Box 220, Lovejoy, Ga. 30250.

Questions can be emailed to Cassandra Hettermann at c_hettermann@cityoflovejoy.com, or call (770) 471-2304 ext. 130.