Dunwoody’s proposed budget for 2022 is now available for the public to view on the city’s website. 

The proposed budget raises the entry-level salaries of public officers and detectives, and allocates the first half of the city’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding, according to a press release. 

“While the pandemic continues to affect the economy, we were able to draft a budget that prioritizes keeping our public safety compensation competitive,” said Mayor Lynn Deutsch in the press release. “This budget also focuses on economic recovery with the introduction of America Rescue Plan funding.”

The budget will go before the city’s Budget Committee, which is expected to meet on Sept. 9 and 10. The Dunwoody City Council will hold a hearing on the budget on Oct. 11 and vote on the issue at its Oct. 25 meeting. The public can view a hardcopy of the budget at Dunwoody City Hall at 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road, or visit the city’s website. 

The proposed budget increases the starting salary of a police officer with a high school diploma to $46,350 a year, up from $44,567. Officers with master’s degrees will start at $50,100, up from $48,317. The city will have a hiring salary scale based on education and experience for these positions moving forward. 

The budget also proposes a use for the first half of the city’s $18.4 million of ARP funding, which is the federal government’s COVID-19 stimulus package. Deutsch has recommended using part of that ARP funding for the creation of a park at Perimeter Center East.

According to the press release, local hotels suggested the creation of this park two years ago. The city raised the hotel/motel tax to help support construction for the park and other items around, but the city says the pandemic’s impact on tourism and travel has rendered the tax too unstable to fund the park. 

In this proposed budget, ARP funding would also be used to replace $1.5 million of lost revenue. The City Council will work with city staff to decide how to allocate the remaining ARP funding. 

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.