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 for 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 plans 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.