Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Lake Worth Budget Meeting
Stantec, formerly Burton & Associates, have been working for Lake Worth since 2008. They were at the City Commission meeting last night to give their integrated Budget Scenario Analysis. There was some good news and some bad.
THE BAD NEWS:
I stayed for about 1.5 hours and left to watch the meeting on the Internet. Unfortunately the audio continued to cut out and was off more than it was on. Ironically, I had just congratulated Darrian Dority of PrimeStar Digital Network for improved audio who had put in the system. This happened during the crucial discussion on our Beach Fund and pool. The only thing I did gather from it was that our pool is not funded in year 2018. I can conclude that the city will close this pool, which has always been the city manager's intention, for good. The mayor is afraid that little red signs will pop up all over town.
The commission still decries unsustainability at our beach and that we are losing money--bad business model, etc. and seem to insist that our beach make money rather than looking at it as an amenity like any other park. They want to replace the meters and install a shade structure over them for $188,000. The two deputies assigned to the beach are costing $260,000 and then we have the loan from ourselves owed by the Beach Fund that was used to build the Casino in the amount of $600,000 per year according to Juan Ruiz. There will be a $150,000 expense to the Pier. The Beach Fund continues to face a cash flow deficit that will deplete reserves by the end of next year.
THE GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS:
We have reached a milestone on our electric rates. It was this commission that voted on achieving rate parity with FPL. If staff can adjust its rate structure components to achieve a 3% estimated reduction in residential rate revenues in 2018, then FPL parity would be achieved.
At present, the average monthly residential bill is $114.73 for 1,000 kilowatts. Their prior study projected $115.88 for 2018. By reducing the rate of $4.59 per average kilowatt usage, we could be a little under FPL's rate by $0.21 cents. The proposed rate is $111.29 for 2018. I don't recall them mentioning how much income we would be losing in order to do this.
MORE BAD NEWS:
The proposed budget will be $36,051,360 for 2018, up $2,098,091 from 2017 (6.182%)
Public Safety/Policing is up by $828,440 or $15,636,280 (5.30%) apparently with the mayor screaming to get them to agree to that.
There is a line item for aquatics of $53,801.
Proposed General Fund Revenues: $34,448,310
Proposed General Fund Expenditures: $36,051,360
That's what was said folks, but I didn't get to hear the explanation, if there was one, for spending more than we are bringing in.