At a City Commission workshop Monday afternoon, city officials presented a $191 million proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14 — an 8.4% increase over last year — that includes a $2.5 million deficit still waiting to be addressed.
City Manager Tom Barwin said the city of Sarasota’s preliminary budget reflected a cautious optimism that some cuts associated with the economic downturn of the past few years can be scaled back, as the budget also includes a 5.6% increase in revenues.
“The story of this budget is the story of a resilient community rebounding from the dramatic impacts of the Great Recession,” Barwin said. Barwin also said it kept the city living within its means.
A net of 11 jobs will be reduced from FY12-13; the police department alone will see a net reduction of 11 full-time jobs and carry 17 fewer sworn officer positions.
Still, police spending is comfortably the largest budgeted area from the general fund, making up 50.3% of the roughly $58.6 million in general fund expenditures. This is due in large part to rising pension costs:
Currently, about 80 cents must be matched in pensions for every dollar of police salary, Barwin said.
Fire pension, retiree medical and other post-employment benefit costs represent another 17% of general fund spending. According to city finance director John Lege, more than one-fifth of the $14.9 million overall budget increase came from increases in general, fire and police pensions.
Other significant areas of increased spending include $3.4 million for the purchase of vehicles and radios; $3 million for repair of shoreline damage due to Tropical Storm Debby; $2.6 million for the construction of a new bus transfer station; and $1.7 million in water and sewer facility upgrades.
The complete budget can be found on the city’s website. The City Commission will hold budget workshops from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m July 16 and July 17, and the preliminary millage rate will be set July 17.
To see a breakdown of major general fund expenditures, click here.
Contact David Conway at email@example.com
Currently 0 Responses
20 Second Easter Brunch on the Bay
9:30 am - 1:00 pm
21 Decision-Making Made Easy
11:30 am - 1:30 pm
21 Nia with Gail in Sarasota
4:45 pm - 5:45 pm
24 Sarasota Christian School Open House
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Temple Beth Sholom’s youth group celebrated Passover with a Chocolate Seder Sunday, April 13.
Members of the Sarasota Seminole Club worked with Habitat for Humanity of Sarasota as part of Florida State University’s Seminole Service Day.
Piero Rivolta and his wife, Rachele, opened their home to the Pines of Sarasota March 26.