NORTH REDINGTON BEACH – After decades of holding fast to one of the lowest millage rates in Pinellas County, the town of North Redington Beach is raising its millage rate.
The ordinance adopting the new millage rate for the fiscal year 2018 passed unanimously at a budget meeting just prior to the special meeting on Sept. 13.
The new millage rate is 1.0 mills, which is 36.44 percent above the roll-back rate of 0.7329. The old millage rate, which dates back into the late 20th century, was .7511 mills and 6.60 percent above the roll-back rate of the past.
“It’s still half (the millage rate) of the next lowest (town’s millage rate),” said Town Clerk Mari Campbell.
The town kept the millage rate down previously by utilizing the town’s reserves to address shortages. Now the town’s reserves are down, so the millage rate is going up.
This new millage rate will impact the average home within the town valued at $300,000 with an additional $75 (approximately) in annual taxes levied. According to the town’s minutes from the first hearing on Sept. 7 as well as the second and final hearing on Sept. 13, residents in attendance gave their support to the measure.
During the first hearing of the proposed millage rate at the Sept. 7 meeting, resident Jeff Busch said he had “spoken with some residents and they did not have a problem with the increase.” At the second and final hearing, resident Steve Suzanski echoed the sentiment by saying that “the millage had been too low for too long.”
In conjunction with the millage rate, an ordinance adopting a final budget and millage rate for the fiscal year 2017-2018 passed unanimously. The schedules setting estimated expenditures and revenues are in line with the town’s customary budget and usual cost increases.
During the consent agenda for the special meeting, a resolution passed authorizing the mayor to sign the Florida Dept. of Transportation application approving the Gulf Beaches Holiday Halfathon on Dec. 7.
New business during the special meeting focused on issues relating to Hurricane Irma. A resolution ratifying the authorization of disaster debris collection and removal participation agreements passed unanimously. The Pinellas County interlocal agreements had to be signed early by the mayor due to Hurricane Irma, so the resolution was amended to ratify the signing of the agreements.
During miscellaneous business, Mayor Bill Queen gave updates on the town’s status as a result of Hurricane Irma. Debris removal was in progress and was anticipated to be completed by the next week. The mayor thanked both “volunteers and staff for their hard work during the storm and the cleanup afterwards.”
The town’s biggest issue during the storm was that the lift station had no power. Queen said the situation “indicated the need (for the town) to purchase a generator” for the lift station.
Throughout Hurricane Irma and its aftermath, town hall was open. The town’s website was “being updated daily to let the residents know and keep current about the storm,” said Campbell.