by Arielle Robinson
At Monday evening’s Smyrna City Council meeting, city council members hosted a public hearing about the proposed fiscal year 2024 budget, approved alterations to the city’s public art policy, and voted to improve batting cages at Brinkley Park and Ward Park.
City council and staff had a lengthy discussion on the FY 2024 budget.
Compared to the previous fiscal year, FY 2024’s total proposed budget decreased by 20.5 percent, from $126,086,208 in FY 2023 to $100,247,367 for FY 2024.
The general fund budget proposal is about $2.2 million higher than the FY 2023 revised budget, totaling $62,033,000.
The budget for capital project funds will see a proposed drop of 97.5 percent, from $31,406,549 in the previous fiscal year to $800,000 for FY 2024.
According to the proposed budget, among the noteworthy budget items is the $100k increase to health insurance, $200k for a city branding update, and about $30k for a new series at Riverview Park called “Music in the Park.” Music in the Park will host five events over several months.
A few other highlights include: $245k to replace signs across Smyrna, $75k of matching funds for the sponsorship of public art alongside Atlanta Road, with a new $150k line item for more art projects, $32k for new traffic signal studies and analysis, $30k for cultural heritage celebrations such as Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Changes to the budget will be discussed at the Thursday, June 1, Committee of the Whole meeting at 6:30 p.m. in city hall’s HR Training Room.
The vote to approve the budget will be at the Monday, June 5, council meeting at 7 p.m. in the community center.
To view the proposed FY 2024 budget and how everything is broken down, click here.
City council voted 4-0 to adopt revisions to the city’s public art policy.
Councilman Tim Gould acted in place of Mayor Derek Norton, who was absent Monday. Former Councilman Lewis Wheaton’s Ward 7 seat is now empty since he resigned earlier this month.
Wheaton moved out of the district and said his resignation was due to “happy and unexpected life circumstances that have caused us to move outside of the ward,” according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
The city initially adopted its public art policy in February 2022. It created rules for ensuring “a consistent decision-making process related to the acceptance placement, display, and long-term maintenance of public art in City owned facilities,” City Administrator Joseph Bennett said.
City staff updated the policy to add portions about publicly funded/commissioned art, loans, deaccessioning, and additional guidelines for art implementation.
To read the updated policy, go to page 170 of the Monday meeting agenda packet linked here.
City council also voted unanimously to approve a project that installs covers over the existing batting cages at Brinkley Park and Ward Park.
The city will give ClearSpan $198,101 to handle the project.
Arielle Robinson is a student at Kennesaw State University. She also freelances for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and is the former president of KSU’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists as well as a former CNN intern. She enjoys music, reading, and live shows.