Sandy Springs City Council is considering a budget proposal that will take a projected $11.2 million surplus and spend it on construction projects, including $9 million for its downtown redevelopment plans.

The Fulton County Board of Assessors also told the city that property values won’t decline as much as previously thought. Instead of budgeting for a 6 to 8 percent decrease in property taxes, the board told the city it can expect a 3.4 percent drop. City Manager John McDonough factored a 5 percent drop into the city’s budget plans.

The Sandy Springs City Council held a budget workshop on May 22 and praised McDonough and his staff for their handling of the city’s finances.

“I don’t think there’s another city that has as painless a process,” Mayor Eva Galambos said.

The $179 million budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins July 1, includes $90 million for the general fund and $73 million for capital projects, which include paving and parks.

The budget proposes doubling what the city plans to spend developing a downtown.

The city is taking its $11.2 million surplus and spending it on capital projects, which include $4 million for downtown infrastructure like parking and $5 million for a new city hall. City consultant Goody Clancy is currently seeking public input as it draws up a draft of the downtown master plan, due this fall.

McDonough said he’s crafted a conservative budget that he expects will show a “positive cash flow” at the fiscal year.

“This is an exciting time for the city,” McDonough said.

Sandy Springs City Council will consider adopting the budget on June 19.

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of