OLDSMAR – The City Council supports the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s initiative to create a coalition to address sea level rise and climate resiliency.

The purpose is to bind regional governments into a unified approach to apply climate adaptation and mitigation activities across county lines. Local and regional responses to economic and social disruption that could occur with sea level rise will be addressed as a goal.

Another goal is to provide technical assistance and resources to local agencies in addressing effects of climate change.

The City Council on Sept. 4 unanimously approved the Planning Council’s memorandum of understanding, which was on the agenda.

Warren Stovall, speaking on behalf of the Suncoast Sierra Club, asked the council that evening to support the Regional Planning Council’ coalition.

“This effort is the first step toward Oldsmar’s preparedness for ocean surge and sea level rise,” he said. “Research indicates that Oldsmar is vulnerable as a coastal community.”

The council’s leadership is needed to protect the city from the impacts of projected sea level rise, he said.

He also said the Sierra Club is proposing that Oldsmar form an environmental impact community composed of local businesses, organizations, local leaders and residents. Other cities in the area have taken a similar approach.

Stovall also said he would be speaking to the council in the future about the organization’s Ready for 100 Campaign, which encourages cities nationwide to take steps to commit to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

City adopts tax rate

The City Council unanimously agreed to adopt the current tax rate of 4.05 mills for the 11th consecutive fiscal year.

The council’s action marks the 28th consecutive year that the rate has been equal or lower to that of the previous fiscal year.

The council also approved the proposed budget, which is more than $36 million, a decrease of $7.2 million from the revised 2017/2018 budget. The overall decrease of 16.7 percent is primarily attributable to the delay in the completion of capital projects.

The council’s final approval of the tax rate and budget is set for Tuesday, Sept 18, 7 p.m.

The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Mayor Doug Bevis noted that a proposed homestead exemption on the Nov. 6 election could affect the city’s future tax rate.

“We don’t know how long we can sustain that, but we will see what happens after November with the election,” Bevis said. “I think a lot of cities are going to be facing that.”