Coral Springs’ general reserve fund is growing, thanks to the city’s financial prudence and money that it will receive from the disbanded Resource Recovery Board.
For the first time in five years, the city will have an unassigned fund balance, Deputy City Manager Susan Grant told city officials at last week’s City Commission meeting. While the city’s policy is to set aside at least 17 percent of the budgeted expenditure for a stabilization fund, the city will be able to do more this year, she added.
The city’s unassigned balance of $1.7 million this year is due to the fact that it will soon get $2.8 million from the erstwhile Resource Recovery Board. The city is also expecting a general fund surplus of $1.5 million; the surplus will be added to the city’s unassigned balance and used partly to beef up its stabilization fund. The city has set aside about $3 million this year for its computer replacement plan.
The city has set aside about 20 percent of the budgeted expenditure as its rainy day fund this year, if one were to take into account the stabilization fund and the unassigned balance. “Our goal would be to get up to 25 to 30 percent,” said Deputy City Manager Susan Grant. “When we had Hurricane Wilma, we spent $7 million to $9 million for restoration and cleanup of the community. It is very important that we start building the reserves back up.”
At the meeting, city officials approved increasing the millage rate by 5 percent, from 4.5697 to 4.7982. This increase will generate about $1.9 million in additional property tax revenue. The city will use the money to fund essential capital improvement projects. The average single-family homesteaded homeowner will pay an additional $54 in property taxes this year. The debt service millage rate will go up from 0.2038 to $0.2933, an increase of 0.0895.
The solid-waste fee for single-family homes will increase by about $9, from $225.84 to $234.75. The fire fee for single-family homes is also going up by $5.64, from $141.36 to $147, but there is no change in the fees for multi-family units or commercial establishments. Water and sewer rates will go up by 3.5 percent.
The city has set aside $28,000 to pay a consultant for the Corporate Park Improvement District and $45,000 to implement its economic development strategy. One of the major capital improvements that will be taken up this year is the $2.43 million downtown water and sewer improvement project.
The city is increasing the millage rate because it wants to make improvements in the community, Vice Mayor Larry Vignola said. “The budget is fair. It is honest. It is responsible. I think our residents are once again going to be happy with the results.”
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