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Meetings set for 9:00am on Thursday & Friday, August 24 & 25

The St. Augustine City Commission will hold two days of meetings relating to the 2017-2018 budget on Thursday and Friday, August 24 and 25.

The meetings will start at 9:00am each day and be held in The Alcazar Room, City Hall, 75 King St. They are open to the public and will be available for live and on-demand viewing at www.CityStAugTV.com

As part of these annual discussions on the city’s budget, the Commission will receive reports from staff on projected revenue and proposed expenditures in each of the city’s seven separate funds: General Fund, Utility Fund, Stormwater Fund, Solid Waste Fund, Marina Fund, Visitor Information Center Fund, and Historic Preservation Fund. Also, the Commission will review information related to the city’s two Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRA): the Historic Area CRA and the Lincolnville CRA.

The budget process is on-going throughout the year, but begins in earnest in late spring as each department submits its expected revenues and proposed expenditures to the Budget and Performance Management Office. Additionally, departments report on their progress on the multi- faceted strategic goals for the city. Following individual meetings with each department’s leadership, the special meetings with the Commission begin and include presentations of the updated 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and the report from the St. Johns County Property Appraisers Office stating expected revenue based on taxable property within the city limits.

The Commission then proposes a millage rate which is the percentage of property tax values assessed against each property owner. For this coming fiscal year, the Commission has proposed keeping that rate at 7.5 mils or $7.50 per $1,000 of property value. The Commission also establishes the level of the fire assessment fee, an amount charged to building owners based on each building’s square footage. For the upcoming budget year that rate is $.0.04932 per square foot for residential buildings and $.90 per square foot for non-residential buildings.

All of this information is brought together in the proposed budget, the topic of discussion during the August 24 and 25 meetings, an opportunity for the Commission to review the entire budget in a somewhat informal, roundtable discussion format.

Documents related to the Commission’s discussion are available by clicking the links below:

The initial public hearing on the budget and tentative millage rate adoption will be during a special meeting at 5:05pm on Monday, September 11 with the final public hearing and final millage rate adoption at a special meeting at 5:05pm on Thursday, September 21.

Revenue and expenditures highlights

Increased revenues

  • Millage rate remains at 7.5 mills resulting in $500,478 additional ad valorem revenue.
  • Visitor Information Center parking fee increase to $15 rate results in $750,000 that will be transferred for Mobility, Historic Preservation and the VIC Sinking Fund.
  • Parking meter rate increase to $2.50 per hour adds $350,000 that will be transferred to reserves to re-build emergency reserves.
  • Fire assessment fee adjustment adds $190,000 in revenue to offset Fire Department expenses.
  • 3rd year of Utility Rate increase is implemented resulting in $750,000 of new revenue.
  • Solid Waste increase of 5% to help re-build emergency reserves.

No change in revenues or expenditures

  • No increase in stormwater rates
  • No increase in health insurance rates; 10% increase in dental insurance.
  • No increase in workers compensation & liability insurance did not increase.

Increased expenditures

  • Paving budget increased by $225,000 over prior year’s budget for total of $750,000 in 2017-2018 including re-bricking of Sevilla and Charlotte Sts.
  • Of 19 new personnel requests totaling $1,200,000; only two included in budget for a total of $150,000.
  • Personnel compensation includes merit increases and 2nd year of compression totaling $574,000. Budget includes Cost of Living adjustment of 1.25%.