2019 Budget and 2018 Millage Rate

Community

BLUE RIDGE, Ga.—Oct. 9 the Blue Ridge City Council gathered to approve the millage rate for 2018. The Blue Ridge City Council also adopted the 2019 fiscal year budget.

The millage rate has fluctuated over the last three years. In 2015 & 2016, the millage rate was 5.479 mills. In 2017, the millage was rate 5.362 mills and the rate for 2018, which will be applied to 2019 taxes, is 5.378 mills.

When is this tax due? Fannin County property owners will receive a receipt of tax notice in the mail. The amount owed will be due within a time period 60 days from the postmark on the bill.

Please note that if your payment is late, you can be charged an additional five percent, and if the balance is still not paid within 120 days there could be a charge up to 20 percent. Property owners should check their mail regularly in 2019.

The Blue Ridge City Council passed the 2019 fiscal year budget where the city is expecting to a receive $2,026,400.00 in tax payer dollars and a total revenue of $2,449,250.

The City of Blue Ridge will be allocating the complete revenue amount out to various expenditures: Mayor and Council, General Administration, Tax Administration & Licensing, Municipal Court, Police, Custody of Prisoners, Fire Fighting, Highways and Streets, Shop, Recreational Facilities, Parks Administration, Park Areas, Planning and Zoning, Downtown Development, and Special Facilities Rental.

Blue Ridge’s Confiscated Funds from Fines and Forfeitures will go toward the Police Department for a total of $1500.

The Hotel/Motel Fund revenue of $170,000 will go towards Downtown Development.

The SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) Fund revenue, a total of $746,500, will be applied to Highways & Streets and Downtown Development.

Lastly, the Water & Sewer Fund, a total of $5,643,500, will be divided into Sanitary Administrations, Sanitary Sewer Maintenance, Sewage Treatment Plant, Water Administration, GEFA Project, Water Treatment, Water Distribution, and Water Loss Prevention.

Council member Rhonda Haight made the motion that the Millage Rate be approved, and it was seconded by Council woman Robbie Cornelius.

Council member Nathan Fitz made the motion that the 2019 Fiscal Year Budget adoption be approved, and it was seconded by Haight.

Does Downtown Blue Ridge Have a One-Way Street on the Horizon?

Community

BLUE RIDGE, Ga.—Oct. 9 Blue Ridge City Council members gathered to review their latest agenda. One item stood out to the board—traffic signs and a one-way street.

The Fannin County Accident Review Board encouraged the Fannin County Sheriff’s office to petition the Blue Ridge City Council to change the two-way road behind the courthouse—between Church St. and Summit St.—to a one-way street going northbound. It’s also been recommended that the speed limit be lowered on that section of road on West First Street.

As citizens of Blue Ridge may know from experience, there’s a lot of traffic on that section of road as far as people commuting through town, people parking to go into the courthouse or county jail. Often, the amount of traffic makes it hard to park, pull out, and overall navigate that stretch of road.

Council member Rhonda Haight stated, “Sheriff Kirby called me and said that they have had numerous accidents there and…at first he suggested a four-way stop and I think after looking at it, they may be thinking now maybe just a one-way street there.”

Mayor Donna Whitener responded, “I think with a four-way stop because they’re backing out into the road I think you’re going to still see people backing into the cars that are coming from the lower street.”

Council member Nathan Fitz asked, “So, come up the hill to the jail there’s only going to be one-way. So, when you come to the stop sign, turning right only, not turning left?”

Mayor Whitener, “Yes, they want the one-way to go back towards [Highway] 515.”

Fitz responded, “So, how do we reroute traffic coming down West First Street for people who need to go to Doss & Associates or any of those places?”

Council member Robbie Cornelius replied, “Just go straight.”

Mayor Whitener added, “Go down and then back up.”

Fitz confirmed, “So, you’d have to go down by the courthouse and then back up the hill?”

Council member Ken Gaddis asked, “What about school bus routes?”

Mayor Whitener replied, “They’ll have to do the same thing.”

Fitz stated, “I personally feel like I need a little more time with this to research it. I say we table it.”

Haight responded, “You can also get with Sheriff Kirby and he can go over the accident reports with you.”

Fitz made the motion that the council ‘table’ the petition for the one-way street until next month so that the members have time to think it over and research options Gaddis seconded the motion.

Will there be a one-way section of street on West First Street by the county jail? Stay tuned until the next council meeting.

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