Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a series of articles published by The Apopka Voice in 2018 that were the most noteworthy events of the year. The Apopka Voice will publish them starting today and running until Sunday, December 30th. On December 31st and January 1st, we will publish a poll and let the readers decide on which story is the most impactful of the year.

Originally published on September 20th, 2018.

The Apopka budget process came to an official close last night when the City Council voted unanimously to set the millage rate for the fiscal year 2018-2019 at 4.0376 (a quarter-mill increase) and adopt the annual budget for the fiscal year 2018-2019. 

The budget totals $114,579,804 for all funds, which is a decrease of $10,092,905 or 8.1% over the 2018 budget. The General Fund Budget of $47,820,702 decreased by $158,000 or .3% compared to last year’s budget.

Among the highlights of this budget outlined in the proposal were:

  • No reserves or borrowing used to balance the General Fund budget.
  • $600,000 additional debt service for public safety equipment purchased in FY18.
  • Red light camera program eliminated as of December 31, 2018.
  • School Resource Officers funded all schools located in the city limits.
  • Orange County Station 29 inter-local agreement.
  • Splash Pad operations funded.
  • Public safety vehicles (6 police vehicles-$194K and an ambulance-$182K), claw truck for grounds ($170K), a new chiller for City Hall ($100K), and improvements to the police gun range ($46K).
  • Four net additional employees were included in the General Fund Budget – 2 communications technicians for Dispatch, 1 plan examiner and 1 permit clerk for Building Safety, and 1 part-time accounting clerk reclassified to full-time and 1 eliminated public information officer position.
  • Water meter change-out program funded at $1.5M.
  • Bear-Cart grant program.
  • City Center Hilton Garden Inn, road improvements, restaurant, and retail establishments.
  • Health Insurance Costs remained flat.
  • Property and Casualty insurance increased 9%.

According to Apopka City Administrator Edward Bass, an estimated $5-6 million was cut from original requests by department heads in this budget, which represents approximately 10% of what was in the first draft, and only four out of 50 requests for new hires were granted.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Actually the health insurance rates for the city did not remain flat. They might have for the city employees, which the city pays for their health insurance, but the health insurance rates went up a lot for the city employees who carry and pay for their wives/ and or children monthly. My husband, is retired from the city, and we went to inquire what the new rate would be prior to Oct. 1st, and it increased approx.$ 97.00 per month, going from $588.00 a month, just for mine only, and jumped Oct. 1st, to $ 685.00, is what we were informed. Usually, we look for a letter in Sept. of each year, in our mail, to let my husband know when the health insurance meetings are held for the city, as that is the time, employees can add additional insurance such as dental, etc. or drop dependents, or other changes. Well, we never got the letter this year. The lady at the city, who shall go unnamed here, told us they sent us an e-mail to us about the meeting, the email address, the one we had listed as a contact, but I went all though the email lists, and there was not an email from the city, and I looked way back to even June, July, Aug, Sept, and Oct to be for certain…..

  2. I don’t have health insurance now, and it is not because of the 97.00 per month increase either. My husband will be turning 65 very soon, and we inquired about keeping my health insurance after he will turn 65, until I turn 65, and we were told by the lady at the city office, that it would cost us $1,352 per month, for mine and my husband, and basically that his would be considered a Medicare supplement insurance, and that he would still have to pay for whatever his actual Medicare costs are that the government deducts from his SS. We aren’t rich. I told him to drop mine, although I pray for my health daily now, until I reach Medicare age, and I will be insured again, that is if Trump, or whoever, doesn’t end it all. The city discontinues paying for a city employee’s insurance at 65 years of age. Oh yeah, and I want to mention, the lady there in the office, asked did my husband want to go ahead and drop not only mine, but his health insurance too! His is paid for until he is 65 remember…..that really made me have an attitude! I didn’t give my husband a chance to answer her, I answered her, and said, “No, he does not want to drop his too, why should he, as he worked for a very long time at the city, and earned that benefit, to have his health insurance paid in full, until he is 65…NO!” Anyway, that seems an outrageous price for mine and his together, after he turns 65, plus the actual govt. Medicare costs he would have to pay too, plus his would be considered ” a supplemental insurance to Medicare”! That is too much for a retired person, or retired couple to pay! Got to whine sometimes, to get it all out of my system!

  3. The only way to keep my health insurance was to continue to keep his too, after he turns 65, so we were informed, at that cost! Remember, retired city employees don’t get any raises, ever, and they sure don’t get a yearly 6 percent raise, like the active city employees can get, that was voted in by the city council under duress, by the police and their supporters present at the council meeting during the budget votes and all, that is in the article above.

  4. I have some supply of insulin and meds. I am not sure what I am going to do without health insurance. I still have prescriptions on hold, but my insulin costs were like between 1200 and 1500 dollars, each, I take two types, daily and weekly, according to the insurance follow up papers, what they paid minus my co-pay. The first of the year, I am really going to have to watch what I eat, carbs and chunk all sugar permanently. I used to be the New Years Day dieter, exercised my self to death, trying to get skinny to look good. Now I am worried about dying, actually. My sugar was so high one night, recently, when I tested it, it freaked me totally out! When I say high, I am serious, it was potentially deadly, it was so high. I cried, I went into panic mode, I drank 3 or 4 full glasses of water, took a higher than normal shot, and other diabetic meds, and even drank some vinegar water. I told my husband to go on to bed, I was staying up. I was actually afraid to lie down to go to sleep, afraid I would die in my sleep, due the extremely high sugar reading. It is better for now, not good, but who knows what the future holds. I have experienced the other side of the sugar scale, when it went down to 46! Way to low! I freaked out, was clammy, confused, and acting like a cry baby, couldn’t function normally, and didn’t know what was wrong with me, until I tested my finger, and it was my sugar! I don’t want to know what it is like at the other end of the too high sugar scale…….

  5. It didn’t make me feel any better to hear about Penny Marshall, or Lavern, dying from complications of diabetes either, about the time my sugar reading was so high…..well, the loud fireworks have now started in this neighborhood. I’ve got to go, and try to console my little Joey, as he is in panic mode from the loud fireworks. I will have to put him into his life jacket that doubles as a stress vest. He doesn’t start spinning around in circles on the floor, and coughing uncontrollably when his life vest is on him, he acts like he can’t move when it is on him….lol

  6. Reggie, do you have any news about a possible sinkhole in Apopka? I was watching Fox 35 news on tv this morning, and they showed that a possible sinkhole had opened up in a residential neighborhood road, and that a FedEx truck drove off in it. They got the truck out, and covered the hole with some type of cover, about the size of my living room, so it appeared. I noticed the house across from the sinkhole, but didn’t recognize where it is in Apopka. They didn’t say where in Apopka on Fox 35. Do you know anything about this latest development? Thanks Reggie.

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