September 2019

The final days of summer have all but passed and September is upon us. The early part of fall in Johns Creek is a time filled with new plans and activities. Whether that’s back to school gatherings, a return of local high school sporting events, or thoughts of crisp fall days ahead, many of us embrace the coming of autumn and the changing colors it brings. 
 
If you are still holding tightly to the closing days of warm(ish) weather, I suggest you take in one of the city’s exceptional events or get active with an outdoor endeavor at one of our city parks. 
 
The city hosts a concert performance on the first Saturday in September (Sept. 7 at 7:00 p.m.) at the Mark Burkhalter Amphitheater at Newtown Park. Newtown is also the site for the city’s annual “Pup-A-Palooza” event (Sept. 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) where you can bring your dogs to the park and enjoy live music, caricature sketches of people with their furry BFFs, and more. 
 
Another not-to-be-missed event in September is the Autry Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center Family Farm Festival. Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 14 Autrey Mill along with the Johns Creek Historical Society celebrate the community of people who lived, worked and supported one another long ago, when this land was a farm and milling operation. The day will be full of heritage crafts, cooking, talks, music and tours. There will also be games and goats, so bring your family, or just stop by to learn a little and meet some great people. 
 
Fall is also a time of preparation and the city is in the midst of financial planning for 2020. One of the first steps for the city was to establish the millage rate for homeowners in Johns Creek. The City Council unanimously voted to provide homeowners in the city with a tax reduction by lowering the 2019 millage rate to 3.552 and the park bond millage to 0.391.
 
The millage rate of 3.552 per $1,000 of assessed valuation is a 12 percent decrease from the advertised rollback rate of 4.042 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.  The parks bond millage rate of 0.391 is a reduction from the 0.500 rate of 2018. The final and unanimous vote at the August 19 City Council meeting for the lower rates is the second consecutive tax reduction enacted by the Mayor and City Council.
 
Fulton County is calculating final tax bills to include the newly adopted 2019 millage rate and the park bond rate. Fulton County will distribute the final 2019 tax bills to Johns Creek homeowners at the end of August. For questions about 2019 property tax bills, homeowners should contact the Fulton County Tax Commissioner’s office at 404-613-6100 or visit www.fultoncountytaxes.org


Another important part of pragmatic and sound fiscal strategy is preparing and approving the city FY2020 Budget. I shared my proposed Fiscal Year(FY) 2020 Budget for the City of Johns Creek and presented a detailed revenue and spending plan to the City Council and the community for their review and consideration.
 
The proposed $65.5 million budget is centered on critical goals and four key themes to help move the city from deliberative planning and discussion into a proactive and execution-driven strategy. Those themes include: delivering public safety, preserving city assets, improving mobility and connectivity, and sustaining stormwater infrastructure.
 
The proposed FY2020 Budget balances our ongoing commitment to completing necessary infrastructure maintenance and new capital investments benefitting our community long into the future.
 
This budget forwards the city’s conservative fiscal policies, which meet the needs of the community today, while assuring future generations the same access to resources and quality of life currently enjoyed by all.
 
The Johns Creek City Council will review and discuss the FY2020 Budget during the scheduled Work Sessions on September 9, 2019 and September 23, 2018. And I invite you, the residents of Johns Creek, to participate and share your thoughts during the Public Hearings for the budget. The hearings will also be held Sept. 9 and Sept. 23 at the Council Meetings. The City Council must approve the FY2020 Budget by no later than Sept. 30.
 
As we all prepare for a busy and productive season, I would like to extend my thanks to each of you. Our residents are one of the reasons Johns Creek remains a truly exceptional city. 
 
I invite you to take a moment and let me know about what your plans and expectations are for the fall. Drop me a line or pick up the phone to share what’s on your mind or what questions you may have. I always welcome your thoughts, feedback and concerns so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can always reach me either by email mike.bodker@johnscreekga.gov or phone 678-451-3313.