Holding a promise to keep reserves intact and lower Town expenses in the process, the Fort Myers Beach Town Council made it official by adopting a lower millage rate and budget during a second and final hearing Monday evening. The action goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2012.
Council approved a millage rate of 0.7687 mils ($76.87 annual taxes per $100,000 property value). The adopted millage rate is 0.0213 mills lower than the tentative operating ad valorem millage rate of 0.79, set on June 18, when Town officials met compliance with state TRIM (Truth in Millage Law) requirements.
Council then approved the overall operating and capital budget amount of $28,656,308 for the same time frame.
"Our staff worked early and hard to make sure that we had as bare bones a budget as possible," said Town Manager Terry Stewart. "Council has hallowed a commitment that it made to its citizens and businesses."
"What someone pays out of their pocket is less than it was last year," added Councilman Alan Mandel, who was nominated then accepted the position of vice mayor once Mayor Larry Kiker steps down and Vice Mayor Bob Raymond takes over his position at the next Council meeting.
Council to evaluate funding requests
Council has set criteria in the evaluation of community funding requests for art, cultural and historical events. Besides strong support shown for the requesting organization, needed criteria for fund consideration, involves 501C(3) status; past record of accomplishments; Tourist Development Council and/or state funding; membership contributions; a detailed presentation including financial statements before Council; sharing profits with the Town (percentage to be determined); and listing Town as a sponsor.
Mound House to be maintained as a cultural facility
Town officials have approved to execute and record in public records to guarantee Mound House be maintained as a cultural facility/museum for a period of 10 years. This restrictive covenant will allow the Town to accept grant funds for the property at 451 Connecticut St.
The required action is needed after the Town received a Grant Award Package following the grant award notification of $445,000 from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Failure to not maintain the cultural facility would forfeit the grant funds.
Town to propose increase in potable water rate in November
Acting with a County-approved increase in wholesale water rate, Council unanimously approved to notify the public and set a public hearing for a proposed potable water rate adjustment at 9 a.m. Nov. 5.
The wholesale water rate increase is being proposed by six percent from $3.46 to $3.67 per thousand gallons. The public notice must be provided at least 30 days prior to the public hearing.