The City of Zephyrhills has adopted its tentative budget for the upcoming fiscal year — and it comes in slimmer than the current year, at $60,412,293.
The roughly $60.4 million budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 represents nearly an 8.8% decrease from this current fiscal year’s budget of $66,293,613. However, it’s slightly greater than the city’s budget two years ago of $59,433,368.
The Zephyrhills City Council had its first reading of the ordinance and first hearing on the proposed budget in a Sept. 14 regular meeting.
The council gave first-round approval, and will have a second reading and final reading before the new budget takes effect on Oct. 1.
The proposed budget is based on an approved 6.35 millage rate, assessed on taxable value of property within the city.
At least one area where the city will begin to see marked savings is the merger of its fire department with Pasco County Fire Rescue. Savings in the first year of the interlocal agreement are tallied at $551,890 compared to the 2019-2020 budget of a fully funded municipal fire department.
The agreement (as well as extended employee benefits) will cost the city roughly $5.5 million total, generally spread out over a period of seven years. After fiscal year 2026-2027, the city won’t have to pay the county for fire rescue services — as it’d be solely propped up by an MSTU assessed to city residents and commercial entities, similar to how Dade City receives such services.
Here’s a rundown of some other proposed budget highlights by the city’s various departments:
- 3.5% increase to total health care costs
- 3% pay increase for employees won’t take effect until April 1, to give the city time to review revenues sources that may decrease as a result of COVID-19
- City council and city attorney added to city’s 80/20 group health benefits plan
- Administration expenses for personnel services increased by reclassifying the assistant city clerk position to a public information officer position
- Human resources worker’s compensation decreased by $9,500 (3%), and property and casualty expenses increased by $51,914 (7%)
- $5.7 million state appropriation for the runway 1-19 extension
- $800,000 fuel farm
- $265,000 taxiway alpha design
- $185,000 airfield beacons
Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA):
- Revenues expected to increase to $426,470
- $100,000 building façade grants ($50,000 to rentals; $50,000 to non-rentals/commercial properties)
- $50,000 sidewalk improvements
- $60,000 tractor/finish mower
- $150,000 playground equipment
- $18,000 re-roof park restrooms
- $13,500 security camera upgrades
- $2,500 carpet cleaner
- $255,000 for five new vehicles
- $54,969 for administrative solutions and digital surveillance software, solar speed signs, bulletproof vests, and rifles
- $29,500 for police laptops and server (funded under IT)
- $500,000 street resurfacings
- $275,000 Stormwater Master Plan update
- $80,000 tree chipper
- $50,000 sign maintenance truck
- $35,000 retention pond fencing
- $30,000 pickup truck for building maintenance
- $21,000 diagnostic scanner software for heavy vehicles, maintenance building awning/rain splash guards and overhead shop fans
- $300,000 new front load commercial garbage truck
- $40,000 curotto-can cart lift
- $10,000 city yard security cameras
- $2,500 diagnostic scanner software for heavy vehicles
Water major projects:
- $1.5 million water line from Phelps Road to Simons Road along Fort King Road
- $1 million design of utilities building and land clearing
- $800,000 water line from Alston Avenue to Tucker Road along U.S. 301
- $150,000 line replacement
- $80,000 generator for well No. 12
- $75,000 for two new utility trucks
- $75,000 GIS mapping
- $70,000 well rehabilitation
- $30,000 supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system
Wastewater major projects:
- $1.5 million reclaimed water line from Zephyrhills High School to Zephyr Lakes along Dairy Road
- $1 million surge tank
- $425,000 new vac truck
- $350,000 sewer line replacement
- $350,000 rehabilitation of three lift stations
- $200,000 rehabilitation of approximately 100 manholes
- $75,000 lift station generator
- $70,000 digester cleaning
- $60,000 new truck
- $30,000 sludge holding tank coating
Aside from big-ticket departmental expenses, the city budgeted $2.3 million for U.S. 301/Pretty Pond intersection improvements, which is coming from a state appropriation; and $1.1 million towards County Road 54 improvements east of Hercules Park, funded via Penny for Pasco revenues. Elsewhere, the city allocated $40,000 in funding for the East Pasco Family YMCA, and $14,000 for youth sports program grants.
Published September 23, 2020
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