The budget for the 2020 fiscal year has been approved by the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The budget includes a static property tax rate from the previous fiscal year, as well as three main priorities, as outlined in a budget memo by City Administrator Jennifer Moody.

The city board unanimously approved the budget on its third and final reading during the June 24 meeting.


Property tax rate

Just as last year, the city’s property tax rate is $2.4305 per $100 assessed on homes in the city limits. This rate applies to both Coffee and Franklin County Tullahoma residents, according to the budget documents.

Last year the city accepted the state’s certified tax rate, which came into effect following a statewide reassessment of all Tennessee properties.

Tennessee homes are taxed on one quarter of their appraised value.


Budget priorities

As Moody outlined in two different study sessions on the budget, three things became priorities for the city for the next fiscal year.

Those included new positions and technology upgrades for city departments, community attractiveness and livability and special or one-time events.

Each of these priorities was addressed in the final budget, which exceeds $28 million for FY20.


Priority one

When it comes to new positions, the FY20 budget includes funding to a full-time superintendent in public works as well as a full-time permit technician in planning and codes.

The new superintendent will make the current administrative team a three-man team, lightening the burden put on the public works director and the superintendent, according to the memo.

According to Moody’s memo, the new superintendent will also oversee “implementation of a new web-based stormwater asset management and permitting software application,” which will increase the efficiency of the department.

The permit tech in planning and codes will “work closely with development professionals and assist individuals with navigating the city’s permitting process,” according to the memo.

The city also invested in a new method of permit issuance, which will increase the efficiency of permitting for construction projects in the city.

“We hope to move closer to achieving the issuance of some permits in the same day,” the memo reads.


Priority two

The budget also includes funding to help the city become and remain a more attractive place for residents, according to the memo.

That funding comes from the promotion of a part-time grounds laborer to a full-time grounds laborer for the parks and recreation department.

The city also applied for a $75,000 tourism enhancement grant with the Tennessee Department of Tourism Enhancement in order to develop a regional tourism strategy.

Other funding provided in the FY20 budget includes $50,000 in additional funding for the street repairs and annual paving, as well as a $5,000 increase for street sweeping of non-state routes in the city; the administrative hearing officer in planning and codes received increased funding as well, the memo states.

The police and fire departments both received additional funding, including $20,000 for new extrication equipment for Tullahoma Fire Department. Both departments also received $8,000 for new radios, according to the memo.

There is also funding for a new program designed to “incentivize more EMT and advanced EMT certifications” in the fire department, which will “enhance the department’s life-saving response capabilities.”


Priority three

Finally, there are three special or one-time events that have received new or additional funding, according to the budget memo.

In preparation for the 2020 census, $5,000 was allocated for a countywide marketing campaign in coordination with the city of Manchester and Coffee County governments.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Fly-In, which will take place at the airport in September, will receive “both in-kind and cash support” to support the event, according to the document.

An added $50,000 in funding over last year was included for increased sidewalk repairs and the implementation of the city’s ADA accessibility improvement plan, which is a federal mandate.

Erin McCullough may be reached at