Politics & Government

Warner Robins council tentatively OKs no change in millage rate

WARNER ROBINS -- The City Council approved on first reading Tuesday its millage rate, which is unchanged from the year before.

The final reading of the proposed rate of 9.99 mills is scheduled for Sept. 15. Revenues from the millage rate help fund the city’s $37.2 million general fund for operating the city government.

In other business Tuesday, the council authorized the city’s utility department to negotiate change orders with Florida-based Haskell Co., which is overseeing the Sandy Run Creek wastewater treatment plant expansion project.

The negotiated change orders for “additional necessary out-of-scope work” may not exceed $450,000, according to the resolution.

Also Tuesday, council members:

Approved the next step in a total makeover of the city’s zoning ordinance by moving the review of the revised 141-page document to the Planning and Zoning Board. City Attorney Jim Elliott said the document under consideration is “an entire rewrite of the zoning ordinance.”

The measure would go back to the council for consideration after review by the board. The public hearing on the revised zoning ordinance is 5:30 p.m. Sept. 9 in council chambers.

Approved the sale of 102 surplus Warner Robins police weapons. The replacement cost is expected to be only $839 above revenues from the surplus sale.

Set height and width requirements on entrance signs within the city’s building regulations.

Approved updated occupation tax regulations as well as wastewater discharge and pretreatment limits to come in line with state regulations.

Repealed an amendment to the general fund for the purchase of $35,000 for street lights after learning an error had been made. Mayor Randy Toms said that statement made by others at the previous council meeting regarding a former employee was inaccurate and that the city has the revenue for the street lights through funds from a 2012 special purpose local option sales tax.

Learned that police have received a grant award of about $16,155 that will pay for half the replacement costs of 45 new bulletproof vests. Also, police are expected use nearly $16,470 from a different, shared grant to buy equipment.

Toms announced that for the first time in a long time, all vacancies at the Warner Robins police department have been filled. Some of the new officers are in training, Assistant Chief John Wagner said after the meeting. With the agency at full staff, there will be room for promotions within the department, Wagner said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.