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Longboat Key Wednesday, May. 5, 2010 7 years ago

Town commission to review budget

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Town Manager Bruce St. Denis will present a fiscal year 2009-10 budget update and a year-to-date expenditure analysis of the town’s finances at its first budget workshop 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 5.

The budget packet presented to the commission last week reports that $2.72 million, or $1.12 million more than was budgeted for in fiscal year 2009-10, will be needed to fund the town’s three pension plans next year, because the plans are not meeting the state actuary’s assumptions again this year.

St. Denis also states the town attorney budget needs to be increased by $89,000 this year because of rising fees associated with proposed zoning changes. The outside attorney budget, St. Denis says, also needs another $50,000 to fund fees associated, in part, with the Port Dolphin natural-gas line dispute.

St. Denis reports that $125,000 is being returned to the general fund after department heads held meetings to review costs. The money will be used to offset revenue losses.

And St. Denis explains it will cost the town $217,000 in the 2010-11 fiscal-year budget to add a new captain and patrol officer to the police department at Police Chief Al Hogle’s request. That amount, St. Denis says, is $24,000 lower than what a previous captain and officer were making.

In a memo presented to St. Denis, Hogle said his department has been experiencing an increase in the number of property-related crimes, including residential burglary, vehicle burglaries and an increase in the number of larcenies.

Hogle attributes the increase in crime to having just two patrol officers on duty during several shifts, which are minimum staffing levels.

St. Denis also reports that the commission would save $80,000 for every 1% cut in employee pay and reports that employee furloughs can also be considered to save money.

To view the town manager's budget memo, click here.

To view the town's year-to-date expenditure analysis, click here.

To view a fire department memo regarding the fire marshal's duties, click here.

Budget Forecasts
Fiscal year 2009-10 projections
• Revenues — expected to come in $158,600 under budget.
• Pension expenses — $200,000 will be needed to fund the plans.
• Town attorney — $150,000 is needed to fund the attorney budget this year.
• Department cost cutting — $125,000 can be returned to the general fund and another $7,000 may be returned from hurricane-related expenditures that were not used.
• Commission contingency fund — This fund began the year at $250,000 and is expected to drop to $31,900 at fiscal year’s end.

Forecasts and concerns for fiscal year 2010-11
• Expected fiscal year 2010-11 beginning balance — $5.05 million
• Expected ad valorem revenue losses — $768,000
• Police department costs for two employees — $217,000
• Finance department study — $30,000
• Pension plans — $1,116,000 is needed to fund the town’s plans

Potential expenditure reductions
• For every 1% cut in pay across the board for town employees, $80,000 would be saved
• Furloughs for town employees
• Reductions in staff

Contact Kurt Schulteis at [email protected].


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