Town enters agreement for GMD roundabout, initially approves budget
The design, permitting and construction documents of the roundabout at Broadway Street and Gulf of Mexico Drive are expected to be complete in November.
| 5:00 a.m. September 20, 2022
The Town Commission last week entered an agreement with Manatee County to begin working toward construction of the roundabout at Broadway Street and Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Since the project’s start in October 2021, design is about 65% complete. The design, permitting and construction documents are expected to be complete in November.
Funding sources and timeline for construction is to be determined. Construction must be coordinated with the Florida Department of Transportation as the project is on a state road, though state officials typically look for local spending before considering funneling state dollars into a project.
Based on background provided in the memorandum for the agreement, on Jan. 11 the Manatee County Commission approved transfers from the reserves in the transportation trust fund to the highway capital projects fund for the Broadway roundabout project.
The agreement between the town and Manatee County states that the county will fund and reimburse the town 50% of design costs or $150,000, whichever is less.
The town’s portion of the agreement requires staff to complete the project through its own forces or through contracted service providers. The town will submit written requests and invoices each month to the county for payments made.
The project is being designed and permitted by consultant of the town Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.
Initial budget approval
The commission last week participated in a special workshop to discuss elements of the proposed budget in greater length and to tentatively pass each portion of the budget on to the Sept. 27 meeting, which starts at 5:01 p.m.
Following approval of the proposed budget, the budget will take effect Oct. 1 and end Sept. 30, 2023.
The budget calls for $17.849 million in general fund spending against $18.5 million in general fund revenue. The budget that also includes capital project funds, enterprise funds, debt service and special revenue funds calls for $85 million in spending, $49.5 million in revenue, a beginning fund balance of nearly $91 million and more than $55 million in the fund balance at the end of fiscal year 2023.
The main topic of discussion at the first hearing centered on the town’s proposed millage rate. According to the staff presentation, the town has the lowest millage rate of any other municipality in the area.
The proposed operating millage of 1.9900 produces a 7.17% change from the rolled-back rate of 1.8568 for 2022. The rolled back rate is the rate which, exclusive of new construction, will provide the same property tax revenue as was levied during the prior year.
The lower millage rate, Harmer said, is likely due to the value of town property. The town is one of few local municipalities that fund police, fire and ambulance services with funds accrued from general operating millage.
If the new millage rate is passed, the resulting increase to ad valorem revenue is $999,819 to fund the fiscal 23 recommended budget.
The staff presentation compared the Key’s millage rate to surrounding municipalities on the basis taxes paid on a home with a $500,000 taxable value. Earlier this year, the median sales price for a Longboat Key home was about $2.6 million; the median price for condos was up to $930,000, though property's taxable value can be significantly lower.
With the proposed mill rate, a Longboat Key homeowner would owe $995 in tax dollars per $500,000 in taxable value.
The following lists surrounding town millage rates and taxes owed on a $500,000 home from tax year 2022:
Anna Maria: 2.0500; $1,025
Holmes Beach: 2.2500; $1,125
Bradenton Beach: 2.3329; $1,166
Sarasota: 3.0000; $1,500
North Port: 3.7667; $1,883
Punta Gorda: 3.9500; $1,975
Venice: 4.3600; $2,180
Bradenton: 5.8976; $2,949
Palmetto: 5.9671; $2,984
The 1.9900 millage rate goes toward general operating purposes for the town. Additional mill rates were also tentatively passed and include:
0.0494 mills for general obligation facility improvement bonds,
0.7115 mills for beach management in the Longboat Key Gulfside District,
0.1779 mills for beach management in the Longboat Key Bayside District
The adoption of the rates would result in a total millage rate of 2.7509 for Gulf-side properties and a total millage rate of 2.2173 for bayside properties.
The staff presentation provided quick-hit highlights for the upcoming fiscal year’s budget. The certified property values increased 14.39%. In the budget for capital improvement projects, funding for the hybrid vehicle pilot program is included for fire marshal and building inspection vehicles. Final costs associated with completing the underground utility project as well as the development of the canal dredging program are also included.