New fiscal year, new budget in Holmes Beach

Holmes Beach logo

HOLMES BEACH – A new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 in Holmes Beach, and with it comes a new city budget.

City Treasurer Lori Hill said the new budget is very similar to the 2016-17 adopted budget, with a few notable differences.

Though commissioners voted unanimously during the July 13 meeting to keep the city’s millage rate at 2.25 for the coming year, she said the city could expect an estimated 8.6 percent increase in revenue with property value increases. Property tax revenue in 2017-18 is budgeted to total $4,110,762, a $362,426 increase over the $3,748,336 received in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The millage rate is the amount multiplied by every $1,000 of taxable property value to determine how much city tax is charged to property owners on trim notices, mailed in the middle of August.

An additional source of revenue planned for the city is $292,711 in monies received from the half-cent sales tax.

Including monies set aside for reserves, total expenditures planned for the 2017-18 fiscal year total $13,402,665, creating a break-even budget for the city. In comparison, the total 2016-17 budget was approved at $12,354,643.

Hill said no reserve spending is planned.

Additions to the reserves are planned with the city’s operating reserves budgeted to increase to $5,528,525 from $4,858,103 in the coming fiscal year.

Some differences in expenditures, Hill said, come from the addition of personnel in the city’s police, public works and building departments. Two officers are planned additions to the police department, while a part-time position is budgeted for public works, and the building department is working to bring a deputy building official on board.

Mayor and commission

Breaking the numbers down by major department, the mayor and commission budget for the year has a planned $1,280 increase in salary to reflect a raise in the mayor’s monthly stipend to $2,000 per month while commissioners draw $500 per month. The total expenses for the mayor and commission budget are budgeted at $109,178 for the year.

General government

The general government budget, including the city clerk, treasurer and human resources offices at city hall, comes to $1,168,261, with the most increase showing in personnel services to accommodate five full-time employees and a rise in healthcare costs. A $22,000 increase is also planned for legal services. An additional $50,000 has been budgeted for a lobbyist.

A $20,000 expenditure is planned to replace aging computer equipment and purchase a new server.

HBPD

In the police department, expenses are expected to increase $212,911 over the 2016-17 fiscal year to top out at $3,064,188 in 2017-18. Much of the increase is due to the addition of new personnel, bringing the department to 17 officers with seven clerical and dispatch positions. A $23,000 increase in expenditures for technological services for the department is planned to cover a technology contractor position, router support services and monthly fees for software usage.

Code Enforcement

The city’s code enforcement department’s budget is planned to decrease by $16,195 over the previous year to total $168,733. Much of the decrease comes from the elimination of a planned part-time position for the department.

Public Works

In public works, a decrease of $190,540 in expenses is planned for the 2017-18 fiscal year. The department’s budget totals $1,267,079 for the year despite increases in salaries to include 10 full-time employees and one part-time position. The cuts in expenses come by way of major reductions in the budget for capital improvements and lessening expenditures at Grassy Point Preserve.

Building Department

At the building department, expenses are budgeted to total $768,728, an increase of $54,072 over the ending fiscal year.

The increase in expenses primarily comes from the increase to six full-time employees along with the addition of $32,000 in professional services from the city engineer. Part of the increase is mitigated by the elimination of $45,256 in part-time personnel salaries.

Public Hearings

Two public budget meetings are planned to discuss the city’s finances prior to the Sept. 30 end of the current fiscal year. The first meeting is planned for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, followed by a second one at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, both to be held at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

Ahead of the public meetings, copies of the proposed budget are available to the public in the lobby at city hall.