City Budget Workshops Slated August 2-3-4

Fruitland Park commissioners will hold workshops to set the 2015-16 budget on August 2, 3, and 4 starting at 6 p.m.

If commissioners can, they’ll run through the entire budget in their first workshop, so Aug. 3 and 4 are worse-case scenarios.

Budget workshops are tedious and painfully boring, but those three days mark some of the most important meetings commissioners will hold.

Budget workshops are when and how commissioners decide how to spend the city’s 2016 revenues, about $5.5 million this year, expected to be slightly more in 2016.

The 2016 budget year (Fiscal Year) starts on October 1.

Budget workshops are also when and how commissioners set property tax rates.

This year, property taxes generated around $750,000 in city revenues. That’s only about 15 percent of the city’s budget, but to property owners who have to pony up the $500 to several thousand dollars, it’s understandably a big deal.

During budget workshops, commissioners discuss each department’s needs, from public services (streets, sidewalks, sewer and water, etc.) to police, fire and recreation services, the library, etc.

Commissioners don’t vote officially during workshop meetings. Florida’s Sunshine laws prohibit commissioners from discussing public business in private, so workshops give commissioners the chance to talk about things like budgets openly.

The City Manager’s job is to shape their comments and ‘straw votes’ into a book-size budget document that the commission, meeting in September, will formally adopt.

If you want to see how sausages are made, grab a thermos full of coffee and join FriutlandParkNews.org at the budget workshop(s).

 

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