The Bethlehem City Council approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget on Monday.
The council approved the $342,067 budget in a unanimous vote at the monthly council meeting.
The 2017 budget reflects an increase of $8,270 — or just over two percent — over the 2016 budget of $333,797.
The largest increase in revenues in the FY 2017 budget is $7,000 in franchise tax.
The biggest increase in FY2017 expenses is $10,000 in the road Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST); but $20,314 that was in the 2016 budget for equipment was taken out of the 2017 budget.
In other business at the monthly council meeting, the council:
•approved spending approximately $11,000 to fund one-half of the Harrison Mill Road culvert repair project. The Barrow County Board of Commissioners will pay the other half for this project.
•received copies of the proposed tree ordinance for the city. A brief discussion was held on the ordinance. City attorney Ron Bennett explained that the proposed ordinance primarily deals with tree protection and care and the establishing of a tree board.
The ordinance is just the next step in getting the city certified as a Tree City USA.
The council plans to have this item on the agenda for the March 6, council meeting.
•discussed the banner that is used in support of law enforcement, first responders and fire fighters.
Mayor Sandy McNab reported he received a call from a woman who wanted to see the banner include the support of the military, including those serving currently, veterans and those who have been killed.
McNab discussed installing a flagpole to include a flag that would be flown at half-mast all the time to honor those in public service who have been killed.
But after some discussion on flag etiquette this idea was nixed.
In the end the council agreed that once the proposed sign is installed along Highway 11 a message could be included on the sign to support the military, law enforcement, first responders and fire fighters.