Communications & Events Coordinator Cindy Walker reported the results of last night’s special meeting of the St Augustine Beach City Commission to Historic City News today. Pride month, the audit report, applications for the City Attorney, long-term financial plan, additional revenue sources, the upcoming fiscal year 2020 budget, and financial policies were discussed.
Equality Florida presented and the Commission unanimously passed a proclamation establishing June as Pride month. For more information, please visit: https://www.eqfl.org/
The audit report from fiscal year 2018 was presented by representatives from James Moore, Inc. The auditor did not identify any material weaknesses or any significant deficiencies. After a vote, the Commission accepted this report.
At the April 1 Commission Meeting, City Attorney Jim Wilson announced his intent to resign. So, the City created and advertised a Request for Proposals (RFP) to fill this position. The City received two applicants – Attorney Ralf Brookes of Cape Coral and Attorney Stephanie Marchman of the firm Gray Robinson in Gainesville. The Commission then decided to advertise the RFP again and will reevaluate the existing, and any additional, applicants at the July 1 Commission meeting.
Next, the long-range financial plan was presented by Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Melissa Burns. This plan projects from the year 2019 to 2023. Her conclusion is that it is necessary for the City of either reduce expenditures or increase revenue in order to maintain the City’s financial health.
CFO Burns discussed numerous ways to increase revenue, such as a franchise fee for solid waste haulers, non-ad valorem assessment to pay costs to collect solid waste and recyclables, and paid parking. The Commission decided to pass the franchise fee for solid waste haulers on first reading.
Next, the City discussed adding a non-ad valorem assessment for the collection of solid waste and recycling, effective fiscal year 2021. This means that the cost of collection, disposal, and recycling would be paid for by the property owner. The City’s estimated annual cost for residential units is $468.24 and the cost for commercial units is $338.87. The estimated cost to residents would be $222, including the $74 fee currently in effect. An additional fee for commercial units was not discussed. The Commission decided to table this topic until the August Commission Meeting.
As for paid parking, at previous meetings, it was decided that the City of St. Augustine Beach would be involved in negotiations between St. Johns County and Republic Parking System. As of today, these negotiations have failed to happen. The Commission instructed City staff to contact County staff.
Following paid parking, the Commission discussed budget issues. The timeline for the budget approval process is as follows:
- Early July – CFO prepares the budget
- Mid July- budget is submitted to the Commission
- July 29- first public review of the budget
- September 9- first public hearing on the budget
- September 23 or 30 – final public hearing on the budget
- October 1 – budget goes into effect
Next, the fiscal year 2020 budget: salaries and benefits were reviewed. CFO Burns presented an organizational overview of salary and benefits updates. Also, Public Works Director Bill Tredik and Building and Zoning Director Brian Law presented changes to their employee structure and salary. This presentation will be taken into consideration at the July 2 Special Meeting on the budget.
CFO Burns presented budget resolutions and updated financial policies. The commission accepted the resolutions. The final updated financial policies will be presented for adoption at the July 1 Commission Meeting.
The next Regular Commission Meeting will be held on Monday, July 1, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Augustine Beach City Hall. The next Special Commission Meeting concerning the budget will be held the following day, July 2, 2019 at 5:30 pm. The public is invited and encouraged to attend both meetings.
For more information, please visit www.staugbch.com, The City of St Augustine Beach Facebook and Instagram page, and sign up for the monthly e-newsletter by texting CITYOFSAB to 22828.