City Manager Releases Proposed FY15 Budget
June 20, 2014
City Commissioners to Hold Budget Workshop on Monday - Today, City Manager Anita Favors Thompson released her recommended $784.6 million fiscal year 2015 (FY15) balanced budget, which is $8.1 million lower than the current budget. The recommended budget includes a $681.1 million operating budget and $103.5 million capital budget. It focuses on maintaining the high level of existing services and making financial adjustments that include revenues from various sources to balance the budget.
"We as a government organization are emerging from the effects of the recession slower than we anticipated and slower than the private sector," Favors Thompson said. "As we have successfully done in previous years, we are providing a balanced budget and maintaining services that are important to citizens while making necessary changes to the way we operate and manage the organization."
The City Commission will hold a workshop on the proposed FY15 budget on Monday, June 23. The workshop will begin at noon in the City Commission Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, 300 South Adams St. It will be broadcast live on WCOT (Comcast Cable and CenturyLink channel 13) and also streamed live on Talgov.com.
"Since the beginning of the recession in FY07, the City Commission has continuously shown great leadership," said Heath Beach, the City's Budget Manager. "By making strategic financial decisions during this time of great economic challenge, the City has been able to weather the storm effectively. This is evidenced by the fact that the general fund expenditures have increased by less than half of the cost of inflation for the same time period."
The proposed FY15 budget incorporates direction provided over the past year by the City Commission, as well as input received from citizens at the community budget meetings and through the online citizen survey.
While not included in the proposed budget, the City Manager is recommending the option of adding six new police officers. The recommendation is to fund the positions through the deficiencies fund for one year, then through the regular budget in subsequent years.
Included in the proposed FY15 budget are the following:
- Net increase of 14 FTE positions proposed, including 12 for Fire, funded by the Fire Services Fee, to support staffing Fire Station 16, which is currently under construction on Easterwood Drive
- Increased transfer from Utilities to support City services pending a rate study which will take place in 2015
- No adjustment to the City's millage rate, leaving it at 3.7 mills for the fifth consecutive year. The City's property tax rate remains one of the lowest of the larger cities in the state of Florida.
The budget also proposes a 2.5 percent merit salary increase for non-union employees. The City's portion of the cost of employee health insurance is estimated to increase by approximately 4.76 percent, with employees sharing in the increase. Salary and benefit adjustments for Fire are included as provided in the current collective bargaining agreement. Fire salary adjustments average 3 percent. The City is currently in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with Police.
City Commissioners will hold a final budget workshop on July 8, and two public hearings on the proposed FY15 budget will be held on September 10 and 22. The new fiscal year begins October 1. The FY15 proposed budget is available online at Talgov.com.
Heath Beach, Management & Administration, 891-8551; or Alison Faris, Department of Communications, 891-8533
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