City Manager Budget Update

FROM CITY MANAGER THERILUS: 9/13/22 In preparation for the upcoming budget hearings, I am pleased to present the Proposed Fiscal Year 22-23 Budget. This Proposed Budget continues to reflect steady progress for the City with a promising future of economic development. The FY 22-23 proposal reflects our efforts to continue to address challenges and pave a stable economic course for the City. This budget maintains the millage rate at 7.50 mills, generating total Ad Valorem taxes of $32.8 million and representing an increase of $3.207 million over the previous fiscal year. However, only $1.3 million of the increase will go to the general fund, while the remaining $1.9 million will go to the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). There are unavoidable increases to the budget, including rising healthcare costs, pension liability, and worker’s compensation. The overall FY 22-23 general fund budget is at $66 million. However, $2.5 million is allocated from the American Rescue Plan act (ARAP) funds to offset expenditures in the FY 22-23 Proposed Budget that will not be covered by the general fund. While the City’s finances show progress with the elimination of the deficit, the financial outlook is uncertain yet promising. The proposed FY 22-23 budget again requires the Council to waive the $5 million reserve requirement. In accordance with the most recent water rate study, an increase for the Water and Sewer enterprise fund is required to meet State requirements. Furthermore, we expect a sanitation rate increase once Miami Dade County finalizes its rates. Stormwater rates will not be raised; however, building, lien, and zoning fees will be raised in line with several neighboring cities as we work to ensure financial stability. We continue to search for alternative sources of revenue by applying for several grant opportunities. FY 22-23 does not propose personnel reductions. As we work to restore services to pre-pandemic levels, the FY 22-23 Proposed Budget includes seven additional full-time and part-time positions for the Parks, Library, and Information Technology departments. This proposed budget includes a 3% merit pay increase and assumes a 3% COLA for all City employees. It is important to note that we still have pending CBA negotiations. With this proposed budget, we can retain library hours at six days per week, and re-open the City’s parks and recreation spaces with the programs and activities that the community has come to love and expect. Several holiday and special events are funded, as well as $7.4 million for ongoing capital projects, including Septic to Sewer Conversion, Water Plant improvements, drainage projects, and several sidewalks and right of way improvements. We continue to work on major capital projects such as Cagni Park, Breezeswept Tot Lot, and the stadium bleachers. This FY 22-23 recommendation achieves a balanced budget while sustaining City services and maintaining public safety. We will continue to work with the Council during the budget process.