REDINGTON BEACH – As expected, the town’s fiscal year budget for 2013-14 revealed few surprises at the first hearing on Sept. 5.
Simply put, “The town is in good shape,” said Redington Beach Mayor Nick Simons.
The total, tentative operating budget is $1.39 million – up by about $15,000 compared to last year or 1.08 percent – but that is the amount the town expects in revenue, according to Vice Mayor Mark Deighton who also heads the finance department.
The millage rate is expected to remain at 1.94 and anticipated to bring in $603,000. A mill equals one dollar of tax for every $1,000 of taxable value.
The proposed expenditures for the upcoming year for the general, capital and storm water funds are about $1.4 million including reserves among all three accounts of $338,000.
Residents are unlikely to see any significant tax increases or reductions in local services. In fact, like last year, there will be a small surplus in the operating fund of about $60,000.
The general fund revenue, used for general government, police protection, fire and EMS, library services, building and grounds maintenance, parks and recreation, is projected at just over $1 million.
“We’ll have a good increase in the capital fund because Pennies for Pinellas is good to us this year; we’ll be getting $145,000,” said Deighton.
The capital fund, used to maintain roads, buildings and equipment, is budgeted at $279,000 and includes a $56,000 reserve transfer.
The stormwater or enterprise account, which is funded by ad valorem taxes, stands at about $167,000 and includes a $75,000 transfer from that account’s reserves to cover the estimated repair and replacement costs of two of the town’s outflow drains. One site is near 15510 First St. and Redington Drive. The other is at 16109 Sixth St. The town received a recent estimate of $57,000 quoted by an excavation firm although no definite plans have been made to do the work.
The commission acknowledged there are few changes noted with the exception of employees’ salaries, primarily in the department of public works. The DPW director, Mark Davis received a salary increase of $2,000 and his assistant, Grant Allen was awarded several raises over the past year amounting to a $3,000 increase.
As noted earlier in the year, legal expenses are expected to increase by about $10,000 as the town anticipates some challenges regarding short-term rental policies.
To more effectively deal with code violations of this type, the board agreed recently to appoint a special code enforcement magistrate who charges $200 an hour to preside over hearings on a case-by-case basis. However, Deighton said the fee does not represent a significant cost factor.
The second and final reading for the adoption of the 2013-14 budget is scheduled for Sept. 19.