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Winter Park-Maitland Observer
FY 2015 General Fund Budget

FY 2015 General Fund Budget
By Sharon M. Anselmo, Assistant City Manager
Submission Date:  Aug. 26, 2014
 
On Monday, September 8th, the City Council will hold the first of two public meetings required to adopt the FY 2015 millage rate. Final adoption of the City’s FY 2015 budget and millage rate is scheduled for September 22nd. Both public meetings will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers at 6:30 pm. Many steps were taken to ensure citizen participation in the budget process, including holding advisory board meetings to discuss the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and establish time-lines for the improvements, three budget workshops and a strategic planning session. In July, the City Council adopted a proposed operating millage rate of 4.90 mills, which was communicated to taxpayers via the property tax notices mailed by the Orange County Property Appraiser in August.
 
At 4.90 mills, the City’s operating millage would generate $9.2 million in Ad Valorem tax revenue. Ad Valorem tax is the single largest revenue for the City accounting for approximately 39% of total revenues. Like most communities in Florida, Maitland experienced significant property de-valuation, and the City’s current taxable value is just over $2 billion (19% less than the high of $2.5 billion in FY 2009). Increasing the millage rate from the current rate of 3.88 to 4.90 mills generates an additional $1.9 million in General Fund revenue. The additional funds would be used to balance the budget without the use of General Fund reserves and would include the following budget recommendations: restoring funding for five of the fourteen full time positions that remain frozen (unfunded) from previous budget reduction efforts; upgrading a position from part-time to full-time in the Fire Department; upgrading Building Division and GIS software; adding new equipment to the Fleet Division to reduce man hours and outsourcing of repairs; and installing an entry feature on South Orlando Avenue.     
 
As proposed, the FY 2015 General Fund budget totals just under $24M, which is 6% more than FY 2014 original budget. The budget supports our primary business of providing core municipal services such as police and fire protection; maintenance of streets, parks, physical properties, computers, vehicles, equipment, street signs, and traffic signals; recreational programming; building construction review; and administrative services including planning, zoning, fiscal management and personnel administration. In addition to providing core services, this budget focuses on several key initiatives identified by the Council in their strategic planning session. These initiatives include increasing communication with citizens, implementing the downtown and west side master plans, improving transportation in Maitland, increasing legislative advocacy, and maintaining quality public safety programs.    
 
The General Fund budget draft also provides for $1.5 million in capital improvement projects for FY 2015. These capital projects include: $250 thousand for FlexBus implementation; $358 thousand in city-wide sidewalk improvements; $311 thousand in street repair and paving projects; $167 thousand athletic field lighting upgrades; $152 thousand in city-wide facility upgrades; $120 thousand in entry feature and street-scape; and $200 thousand in park upgrades and refurbishments.  
 
For additional details on the FY 2015 budget please visit the City’s web site at www.itsmymaitland.com. Hard copies of the FY 2015 Budget Draft are also available for review at City Hall.




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