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.