$17,189,514 spending plan delivered on Aug. 1; public hearings begin when commissioners return from summer break.
When Town Commissioners return to work in September, one of their first orders of business will be presiding over public hearings for a $17,189,514 budget, officially submitted on Aug. 1.
As required by town charter, Town Manager Tom Harmer delivered a recommended budget and message for the coming fiscal year on Thursday of last week.
The spending plan, which holds the line on ad valorem millage at 2.114, will be considered at a pair of 5:01 p.m. public meetings, on Sept. 9 and Sept. 23.
The budget includes $451,000 in capital spending, which is up more than $333,000 from the previous budget, but employs about $315,000 from the Fund Balance to offset expenses.
According to Harmer’s message to the commissioners, the town continues to benefit from an economic upswing, experiencing its fifth consecutive year of rising assessed property values. The most recent rise, one of 3.62%, resulted in more than $350,000 in additional tax revenue with an identical millage rate.
The town’s estimated Fund Balance in the recommended budget reaches out to 183 operating days, at $8.4 million – which represents 49% of the proposed expenditures. Even with $1.35 million of that assigned to various projects, the town expects to maintain a 122-day financial cushion. The town requires a minimum of 60 days.
“Under all foreseeable circumstances, the town plans to maintain funds in excess of the requirements of its Fund Balance policy at all times,” Harmer wrote.
“In summary, the 2020 Town of Longboat Key Budget is sound with investments to keep our economy stable, protect our natural environment and keep our infrastructure in good repair,’’ he wrote.