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July 20, 2010: City hosts second Business Planning workshop, focuses on maintaining service levels
 

Tonight, the City will hold its second Business Planning workshop for Fiscal Year 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers, 9551 W. Sample Road. The workshop will be combined with the regularly scheduled City Commission meeting.

At the workshop, City officials will review the proposed Business Plan and financial strategy for Fiscal Year 2011, which focuses on maintaining service levels to our residents and businesses and ensuring the long-term financial stability of the City.

The financial strategy is based on a continuation of the three-pronged approach implemented during Fiscal Year 2010. This three-pronged strategy included a voluntary wage freeze for union and non-union employees; a plan to judiciously use $14 million of surplus reserves over a four-year period; and adoption of the property tax rolled-back rate, which brought the tax rate back to where it stood in Fiscal Year 2008.

For the coming fiscal year, the City will continue the three-pronged strategy. Additional expenditure cuts will be made, including a continuation of the wage freeze for Senior Management. Total reserves used to supplant lost revenues over the next four years will increase by $3 million. As a measure of last resort, the strategy will once again include adoption of the property tax rolled-back rate, which enables the City to receive nearly the same property tax revenue in Fiscal Year 2011 as it received in 2010.

The new tax rate is still one of the lowest operating millage rates among surrounding municipalities with greater than 70,000 residents. The debt service tax rate will remain unchanged.

To help manage City-wide expenses, the City has taken recent actions resulting in roughly $10.3 million of annual savings, including reducing staffing by 34 positions; instituting the wage freeze for all employees in fiscal year 2010; reducing health plan and operating expenses; and reaping cumulative annual savings from refunding and equity financing initiatives. The City will also be using $4.8 million of reserve funds to limit the necessary increase in the property tax rate.

The City’s proactive financial approach will allow it to align its scarce resources with those services that are the biggest priorities for our community:

· The Police and Fire Departments will continue to respond quickly and effectively to public safety emergencies. The City will continue the School Resource Officer program, as well as continue funding school crossing guards.

· The City will broaden the educational landscape of the community by bringing Broward College to a 19,000-square-foot campus in the Downtown Area, providing residents the opportunity to take day and evening college classes right in Coral Springs.

· The City will continue to help businesses through these difficult economic times with the CSBizAssist program as well as the newly revised sign code that will allow attractive and low-maintenance monument signs at some locations as well as locational indexing signs along University Drive.

· Staff will tend to the aesthetics that define the community by realigning current resources to help compensate for the lack of additional funds for the Parks and Public Works budgets.

· There will be no park or pool closures next year and recreational offerings will proceed as usual. There will be no fee increases for most recreational programs. The City will also depend more than ever on residents to help keep parks clean and safe through a new volunteer initiative.

· The City will continue its commitment to financial management that is reasonable and responsible, not spending down reserves to the point of being unprepared for emergencies such as a major hurricane.

“We recently received the good news that for the second time, Money magazine ranked Coral Springs the number-one city in Florida to live. Simply put, our Business Plan focuses on funding the reasons why our community was able to achieve this ranking,” City Manager Michael S. Levinson said.

At tonight’s meeting, Commissioners will adopt the TRIM notice, which is the proposed millage rate. They also will approve the Fire Assessment Fee and the Solid Waste Assessment Fee. Further, the City also will present a recommended annual Capital Improvement Plan to Commissioners at this meeting.

For the most up-to-date information, visit www.CoralSprings.org.
 

Posted:7/20/2010
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