NORTH REDINGTON BEACH – Mayor Bill Queen had good news for the town at the July 15 budget workshop.
“(North Redington Beach has) no increase of millage, no increase of taxes and (the town is) improving as we go,” said Queen.
The millage rate of .7511 mills is, according to the mayor, “the lowest rate in the county for any town that has a government.” This millage rate has been the same for the town for well over a decade.
Property values have increased in the town by 7.4 percent. This increase results in added revenues of $19,548 from ad valorem taxes.
Additionally, the town gleaned miscellaneous revenue for the current year from a recycling grant, safety grant and Gulf Boulevard light maintenance reimbursement. This brings the total revenues up by $20,563 from the 2013-14 budgeted revenues.
General fund expenditures include some incremental increases. The town’s contract with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has increased 2.45 percent, due mostly to salary increases.
Cost for fire protection has increased 1.3 percent. The proposed salary increases for NRB town personnel are 2 percent for all employees previously under the salary scale for comparable municipal jobs. Library costs increased 8.91 percent.
Expenditures for the general fund came in below the projected budget by $41,564 from 2013-14 budgeted amounts. This was due primarily to no municipal election, no disaster cleanup and a reduction in legal expenses resulting from the settlement of the code violation case on 16811 Gulf Blvd. With no major projects in the works and normal attorney fees, proposed expenditures decreased by $21,095.
Sewer rates include a 9 percent increase. This is the last of the four consecutive years of 9 percent increases to accommodate the total 36 percent increase required by Pinellas County utilities.
Proposed Capital Improvements for 2014-15 will include a new air conditioning system for town hall ($6,000), PVC fencing for Addie Graham and Harold Radcliffe Parks ($10,000), new signage for beach access ($2,500) and resurfacing the tennis courts at Harold Radcliffe Park ($8,500).
Impact to the town’s reserves is negligible by municipal standards. Last year’s projected budget anticipated $72,140 needed from the town’s reserves. The actual reserves used for 2013-14 were $7,478.
The projected reserves for use in 2014-15 are $26,291. If the prior year’s usage is any gauge of what the town can expect, it is likely that little of the amount will actually be utilized.
Current reserves for the town are $4.41 million.
“We’re (NRB) in great shape,” said Queen.
Budget hearings will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 5:15 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 15, 5:15 p.m.
The regular 7 p.m. monthly town hall meetings will be held on Thursday, Aug. 14 and Thursday, Sept. 11. All meetings are open to the public.