As focus shifts to budgetary matters, Wilton Manors Commissioners approved three resolutions during a special meeting on July 28.
In a 4-to-1 vote, commissioners set the city’s operational millage rate at 5.9000. A millage rate represents the amount a taxpayer pays for every $1,000 of their property’s assessed value.
Commissioner Gary Resnick, attending via Zoom, cast the dissenting vote. Resnick said the rate does not put the city on a sustainable path.
“I’m getting concerned about what it costs to live in Wilton Manors in a home even if your home is 100% paid for,” Resnick said. “It’s expensive to have a house here before you get into maintenance and upkeep and all of those things. Just having a house and paying for what you are required to pay for is pretty expensive so that’s of concern to me.”
Vice Mayor Paul Rolli noted the operational millage rate is the same as last year and the lowest since 2009.
“In view of generally increased operating costs and unfunded state mandates, further rate reductions would have a negative impact on city operations,” Rolli said. “My focus is on strategic priorities and a budget that directly aligns to them.”
The commission has held two budget workshops with a third scheduled for Aug. 24. Resnick said a thorough financial review is needed to ease the burden on residents.
“I want to do what I can to try to make it a little bit easier for residents and I think there is some room to cut things in the budget,” Resnick said. “We have a lot of studies, a lot of consultants and a lot of contractors and I’m not sure we’re getting the bang for the buck for that and I really question some of our priorities.”
Commissioner Mike Bracchi said food and gas prices are going up and people are paying for more things out of pocket.
“I think there are opportunities in the budget once we start getting into it and taking a look at those numbers,” Bracchi said.
The other two resolutions 一 which passed unanimously 一 dealt with improvements to the gated entrance on Jenada Isles, in the city’s northwestern boundaries, and fire assessment fees. Wilton Manors contracts with the City of Fort Lauderdale for fire and rescue services.
Finance Director Pennie Zuercher said the fire contract is increasing 10% with residential fees going up 2.5%. The annual residential fire assessment fee is $267.36. The city’s total cost in fire assessment fees for the fiscal year 2021-22 comes to $2.7 million.