The City of Hollywood recently held a budget workshop for Fiscal Year 2015. The proposed citywide budget is $495,971,150. This represents an increase of $46,660,000 or 10.4 percent from Fiscal Year 2014.
The general fund operating budget is $219,086,000, an increase of 21,350,000 or 10.8 percent from fiscal year 2014.
The proposed millage rate is 7.4479 the same as last year. Property values in Hollywood have increased by 8.1 percent.
Many homeowners will face an increase in their property taxes. How much depends on the value of the property. If a home is worth $100,000, the increase is 1.5 percent. If a property is valued at $200,000, the increase is 0.7 percent and for a property valued at $300,000 the increase is 0.3 percent.
The City has requested $6,425,000 in budget enhancements of which $2 million will go toward the replacement Fire Station 45. The rest of the money will toward will go toward the purchase of a CCTV system, the replacement of 50 police vehicles, road resurfacing, street light additions and turtle lighting.
The budget calls for an addition of $1,992,085 for the police department. There will be six new Hollywood police officers; one sergeant and two officers for the east side and one sergeant and two officers on the west side. The cost of the new officers will be $620,354 and the rest of the additional money will go toward more overtime; $249,290 and training; $189,800. Some of the additional money will go toward operating expenses.
There will be an additional $10,759 for the fire department. There will be a $20 increase in the fire assessment for residents due to an increase in residential calls. The fee will go from $189 to $209. There will be a decrease in the fee paid by industrial and commercial properties.
The fire inspection fee remains at $22 but a change in collections will now include condominiums. The condominiums were improperly excluded in prior years despite inspections being performed. No back billing will take place.
Other new positions include a new environmental sustainability coordinator at $50,000. Also $314,340 has been budgeted for five customer service positions. And $35,000 has been budgeted for an auto mechanic. In the public works department two part-time positons have been converted into one full time auto mechanic position.
The budget calls for $123,692 more for parks and recreation.
Mayor Peter Bober said, “I think the proposed budget is extremely conservative, and takes recognition that recent upticks in real estate values may be fleeting. I support the proposed budget’s efforts to increase our police force, use technology to deter criminal activity, and maintain and improve our infrastructure. Most importantly, we will hold the line on taxes in this year’s budget,” said Bober.
Hollywood City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark said, “We’re stretching every dollar to invest in what is best for the City. We’re dealing with the things that are the most urgent with the small increase we have to ensure a safe and secure city. The City is not in full recovery, we’re still making hard choices to catch up from the financial urgencies of the past. I’m optimistic that if we continue to make sound, sustainable financial decisions the City will continue to see positive results,” said Swanson-Rivenbark.
The Second Proposed Operating Budget workshop is Wednesday, September 3rd at 4:00 p.m.
The First Public Budget Meeting is Monday, September 15th at 5:30 p.m.
The Second Public Budget Meeting is Monday, September 29th at 5:30 p.m. Also on September 29th at 6:00 p.m. is the FY 2015 Public Budget Hearing for the Downtown and Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. All these meetings will take place at City Hall in Room 219.