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Residents invited to add input at budget hearing

By Staff | Sep 7, 2011

When council members convene on Saturday morning, they are expected to propose a city budget of $46,766,179 and adopt a millage rate of 2.1561 for Fiscal Year 2012. The millage rate introduced on July 19 is identical to the current rate but is .0032 percent less than the roll-back rate of 2.1630.

According to the report presented to the council by Finance Director Sylvia Edwards and City Manager Judie Zimomra, residents are currently paying $259.08 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed property value. Under the proposed millage rate, with property values on Sanibel declining .0992 percent, to $4,206,941,772 – representing a less than one percent drop – residents will pay $258.51 in FY2012.

Other highlights of the draft budget include:

City salaries remain flat for the fourth consecutive year.

Full-time employees have been reduced from 142 in 2007 to 114 in FY2012 through attrition.

With the exception of the sewer rate, which will increase 3 percent, all other city fees have been held flat.

$2.8 million is allocated toward general government capital improvements. This includes $1 million of capital projects rolled over from the prior years and $1.8 million for new projects.

“The draft budget assumes the city will spend $3,743,908 in disaster, insurance deductible, environmental and contingency reserves between now and the end of our current year,” the budget reads, in part. “To date, $94,076 has been utilized of the $6,390,000 in reserves.”

The draft budget assumes those reserves will be spent for these same purposes in FY2012.

Residents are invited to provide comments on the proposed budget and millage rates on Saturday at MacKenzie Hall. Additional details about the city’s budget are available online at www.mysanibel.com.

The city’s final budget hearing will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 5:01 p.m.