Manager's Report for the September 11, 2018 Town Council Meeting

Proposed Upcoming Town Council Meeting Schedule
September 11th – 6:30 PM Budget Meeting, LCS CRA Budget Meeting, Regular Town Council Meeting,
September 25th - 6:30 PM Budget Meeting, Regular Town Council Meeting
October 9th – 6:30 PM Regular Town Council meeting
November 13th – 6:30 PM Regular Town Council Meeting

Upcoming Events
September 15th - Waterway Cleanup
September 21st – Food Truck Invasion (Town Hall)
October 31st – Better than Halloween Party
November 3rd  – Triples Tennis
November 16th – Food Truck Invasion (Town Hall)
November 18th – Loop Around the Lake 6k Run

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget
The FY19 Budget is by far the most complex budget the Town has ever prepared.  We have expanded from a General Fund and Enterprise Fund by adding an Infrastructure Surtax Fund and a CRA Fund.

1. General Fund:  In the FY19 Budget we anticipated the passage of Amendment 1, the additional homestead tax exemption.  The new exemption will have a $160,000 reduction in the amount of Ad-Valorem taxes collected by the Town.  The Town will pay the CRA approximately $22,000 out of the General Fund as our share of the Tax Increment Financing agreed to when we formed the CRA.  We also make the final loan payment for the Town Hall construction of $100,795.  The Town is investigating a new loan to improve energy efficiency and address some failing infrastructure needs.  We are proposing to borrow $250,000 to replace the HVAC systems in Town Hall, the Chambers, and the Police Station.  The funds will also change the lighting in the buildings, change the lighting on the Tennis Courts, Basketball Courts, and along Forest Hill Boulevard to the more reliable and less costly LED type fixtures.  Energy savings over time will pay for these improvements.  Total capital costs are budgeted at $307,000.  And, staff is working on acquiring grant funding for a new EOC and Kitchen next to the Police Department sally port.  The building as proposed will be a 2000 square foot Cat 5 Hurricane rated building. Budget $3,075,995.

2. Enterprise Fund (Utility Fund):  The FY19 Budget includes the last payment of the loan to buy the Utility ($293,655).  We are budgeting $1,328,000 for capital improvements.  The list of capital items includes six pump station electrical panels, new and replacement equipment, new water meters, and a new Utility Admin building.  We are proposing to add $1,000,000 in new debt to help pay for the improvements.  Budget $3,895,912.

3. Infrastructure Surtax (IS):  The County Ordinance creating the IS came with significant restrictions on both what the money could be used for and how it could be spent.   The Town is estimated to get $2,050,000 over 10 years.  The Town Council directed staff to spend the dollars on road resurfacing and the design and construction of a new Pine Tree Lane bridge.   The Town created an Infrastructure Surtax Oversight Committee.  The Committee will provide assurances that staff has completed the projects approved by the Town Council.  In FY2019 Budget, staff is proposing to pave parts of Carandis Road, fix two drainage problems under the road and complete the Pine Tree Lane Bridge Predesign Report. Budgeted expenditures $207,000. By September 31, 2019, the Town is estimated to have collected $476,449 in sales tax monies and will have completed $349,000 of qualified road improvements.  All unspent dollars are to be rolled over to next year and can only be spent as outlined in the County’s Ordinance and the Town’s Resolutions. 

4. LCS CRA:  Our CRA is small but mighty.  We have had 16 businesses move into the CRA or expand within the CRA since inception two years ago.  Assessed values have increased faster than the residential properties within the Town.  We have a FY19 budget of $14,500 and a projected revenue of $39,029.  We are trying to find incentives to get businesses to move to Town.  We are being told we will be getting a new restaurant moving into the Forest Hill Plaza in early 2019.