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Jasper council approves budget, new retirement plan

The Jasper City Council approved a $5.5 million budget for 2022. The budget had been presented earlier this year. It reflects a substantial increase in revenue due to growth occurring throughout the city.

            The city’s budget in 2021 had been initially set at $4.7 million but had been amended to reflect rapidly increasing additional revenue coming from permits and fees tied to development.

            The budget, as approved by council Monday, had few changes from the preliminary one presented in November by the city’s CFO Beverly Ragland. There was a small change in the water department revenue but otherwise the budget reflected what was previously presented in meetings over the past month.

            One comment from Ragland made in response to a question by council member Sonny Proctor, is they can see how things are trending in 2022 and make adjustments at the half year mark if needed.

            Once finalized, the budget can be found on the city’s website, jasper-ga.us.

            In other action at the brief meeting, the council approved a new benefit retirement plan. This would lower the age/number of years employees must have to be eligible for retirement.

            It will allow some of their longer serving employees to retire and was not found to have any significant financial impact on operations.

            Following the approval of this ordinance, council member Kirk Raffield called it “a great step forward.” He said this shows the administration/council’s commitment to the employees.

            The council heard a report from Ragland that the workers compensation insurance for the next year will not increase. The city has seen fewer claims over the past three years and this has allowed the price of the insurance to hold steady.

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