TREASURE ISLAND – Citing the need to fund a couple of “rainy day” accounts, Treasure Island City Manager Reid Silverboard submitted a proposed operating budget for fiscal 2014 that includes a .2 mill increase.
Silverboard’s proposed operating budget of $10.2 million is part of an overall budget of $17.6 million.
The millage increase would be used to fund two renewal and replacement accounts.
One .1 mill would be used to generate about $126,000, which would be set aside for maintenance on the Treasure Island Causeway bridges. The amount would be combined with $329,963 that is already set aside for that purpose.
The other .1 mill component would generate the same amount for city facilities and infrastructure, such as roofing and air conditioning systems, street repaving, resurfacing of the city tennis courts, and dune walkover repairs. It would be combined with the $500,000 currently set aside for that purpose.
Silverboard said the causeway bridges are a top priority. The funds would help pay for larger projects in the future, such as bridge lighting, electronics replacement, hydraulic and mechanical parts of the bascule bridge, painting and eventually the replacement of all three.
“We have to paint all three bridges and do concrete repair. This is something you do every few years,” Silverboard said. “As you know, we’ve been criticized because it’s peeling. We’ve budgeted $200,000 for this project. We’ve gotten the engineers estimate and it’s $375,000.”
Silverboard said the age of the bridges means they are getting to the point that maintenance is going to be expensive.
“We simply have to recognize we have facilities that we have no choice to maintain,” Silverboard said. “We’ve got to get revenues in line so we can maintain what we have.”
Mayor Bob Minning agreed, noting that the city is still dipping into the general fund to pay needed expenses.
“It’s going down all the time and sooner or later we’ve got to stop that,” Minning said. “All it takes is one bad storm or one bad event and it’s gone. As much as we may not like it, we have to look at how we are going to take care of maintaining the city in the manner the residents want to see it. There’s a cost to that. Nobody wants to see taxes increased but the reality is, we are who we are. We have to pony up and meet those costs.”
Commissioner Alan Bildz said he was against any increase in the millage rate.
“At a certain point in time, there comes a straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Bildz said. “We’re looking at flood insurance increases and property insurance increases.”
Bildz said the elimination of the all day parking fee at city parking lots and a savings the city expects with its insurance coverage could be enough to offset a millage increase.
Silverboard’s budget calls for a millage rate of 3.3368, which is 11.07 percent above the rolled back rate of 3.0042. The rolled back rate is the rate that would generate the same revenue as the year before.
Due to an increase in values and the proposed millage increase, the city would receive an additional $417,800 more in 2013-14.
Public hearings on the budget are set Tuesday, Sept. 3 and Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 6 p.m.
In other action, commissioners:
• Passed a resolution to enter into an agreement for post-disaster debris management and removal with Ashbritt Inc., Omni Pinnacle LLC, DRC Emergency Services and Patton, Harris, Rust and Associates.
• Authorized spending $65,610 to reline 72 sanitary manholes.
• Passed a resolution amending the city’s personnel manual to compensate employees at a rate of time and a half for call back pay.
• Approved $32,025 for the purchase of five telemetry control units and training from Data Flow Systems. The TCUs are used in the city’s wastewater system.
• Voided the purchase order for a new garbage truck from Tampa Truck Center and approved the purchase of a Mack Terrapro low entry 25-yard rear loader sanitation truck from Nextran Truck Center in Tampa.
• Appointed Susan Reiter to a one-year term and Richard Harris to a three-year term on the city’s planning and zoning board.
• Appointed Belinda Lunn and Dana Ball to the code enforcement board.