SEMINOLE — The city’s millage rate will likely remain at 2.4793 mills for the 12th consecutive year.

At its July 23 meeting, the Seminole City Council approved the proposed millage rate of 2.4793 for the fiscal year 2019-2020 city budget. The first public hearing to discuss the millage rate and budget is set for Wednesday, Sept. 11, 6 p.m.

The approved millage rate represents approximately a 6 percent increase over the estimated rollback rate of 2.3377. City Manager Ann Toney-Deal recommended council leave the millage rate at its current figure and not approve the rolled back rate. She also noted that the council has the authority to decrease the millage rate once it is set, but not increase it.

Councilor Roger Edelman asked Toney-Deal how the ongoing contract negotiations between the Seminole Professional Firefighters International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2896 and the city of Seminole might affect the millage rate and budget in the next fiscal year. At a July 15 special hearing, the council approved a 5 percent increase on base wages for the members of Seminole Fire Rescue. This increase is included in a temporary contract that will expire Sept. 30 and union members still need to vote to accept it. Meanwhile, contract negotiations will start again this month.

Toney-Deal said city staff anticipated pay increases for SFR employees, which they kept in mind while preparing the 2019-2020 budget and millage rate.