MILTON, Ga. — The Milton City Council approved a number of mid-year budget updates at its May 6 meeting. The amendments include new funding for public safety officials and equipment, park improvements and grant matching for a variety of projects. 

The city is expected to bring in over a half-million dollars in additional revenue this year bolstered by higher-than-projected license fees, real property taxes and Local Options Sales Tax. 

General Fund spending increased with additions for hiring additional city staff and investing idle funds. 

Just over $50,000 has been allocated for new Maintenance and Operating initiatives, including updates to the city’s contract management and GIS systems. 

A request from Milton Police for two drones was also greenlit in the updated budget. 

According to the budget presentation, the drones can assist on search and rescue calls in heavily wooded areas. The two drones have a combined price of $4,700 with an annual maintenance of $300. 

Milton officers will also receive new license plate readers and access to updated cell phone analytic software which allows police to analyze 100,000 call records in minutes, according to the budget request. 

Funds have also been budgeted for Milton Fire, including computer tablets for real-time data regarding inspections, hydrant locations and other information, and a salary for a part-time fire inspector. 

Funding was also increased for trails expansion, pavement management and intersection improvements. 

The capital grant fund was amended to show an increase of over $760,000 for the city’s match on federal and local grants. Those projects include trails, a lake pier and a bathroom facility at Providence Park and a Liveable Centers Initiative to study the Deerfield area. 

Milton has allocated $749,000 for parks and recreation improvements and maintenance and incentivizing large residential lots. 

A study will analyze possible benefits of creating a new overlay district dubbed “Equestrian Estates” and text amendments to the city’s AG-1 zoning to “make it more equestrian friendly,” according to the budget presentation.

Park improvements include a lightning detection system at Milton’s city pool and funds dedicated to ensuring the former Milton Country Club property is up to code. 

In other action, the City Council approved a conditional alcohol license for The Farm at Pamelot, located along Bethany Way, for a farm winery. The applicant has already received a federal license but must obtain a city license before a state alcohol permit is granted. 

The state law permits the sale and on-site consumption of wine produced at the farm or any farm winery in Georgia.

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