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Richmond Hill to keep same millage rate
City approves more than $500K in spending on SPLOST and other projects
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According to figures released by the city of Richmond Hill Tuesday night at the council meeting, the city has tentatively adopted last year's millage rate, which will still increase property taxes by 2.66 percent for 2020.

The tentative millage rate will be 4.132 mills, an increase of .107 from the rollback rate of 4.025.

Under Georgia law, a millage rate increase requires the taxing authority to hold three public hearings to allow residents to voice their opinions on the proposed increase. The first was held July 16 and the other two public hearings will be held August 6 at 6:30 and 7 p.m. in the council chambers of city hall.

For a home with a value of $200,000, the increase will be approximately $8.56 per year. Other local governments have also chosen not to adopt rollback rates as well. 

The city council was in a spending mood Tuesday night, approving more than $268,775 in Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax projects and $301,099 in non-SPLOST projects.

Those projects included:

    * $35,000 for security upgrades at the Johnny Murphy planning and zoning building.

    * $58,775 for the purchase and installation of two generators and automatic transfer switches at Fire Station Number #1.

    * $100,000 for a 3,800 foot asphalt walking Trail at Sterling Creek Park. The path will be 10-foot wide.

    * $75,000 for a pond upgrade at Sterling Creek Park.    

    Other non-SPLOST approved projects approved by the city council included:

    * $74,670 from the city water and sewer fund for the purchase and installation of one diesel generator and automatic transfer switch for the city well sire on Bass Drive.

    * $3,100 for repair and maintenance of two neighborhood entrance signs for Piercefield Forest Subdivision.

    * $37,680 from city center reserve fund to upgrade city center audiovisual equipment.

    * $106,819 for paving work to increase parking at the city center.

    * $78,830 for paving work in J.F. Gregory Park.

Mayor Pro Tem Tara Baraniak confirmed a widely-known secret that she will resign her position as of the Aug. 20 city council meeting. She is moving to Jacksonville so her daughter can attend the Bolles Academy, a private school with a nationally known swimming program that will provide her daughter, Camryn, a locally known up and coming swimmer, with a venue to further hone her swimming skills.

"We've got a great team here and I will miss everyone," the mayor pro tem said.

Cam Reed, vice president of Sales for Blue Line Renovations, gave a presentation on how equipment his company provides that can help slow speeders in the city, particularly in school zones, where speeding is rampant, he said. Reed recently spent time in the city and said speeding in school zones is cause for concern with the majority of drivers exceeding the school zone posted speeds.

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