The City Commission has approved the 2019-2020 Wilton Manors budget of almost $39 million. While small by most city comparisons, the budget is big to us, and encompasses new programming, capital improvements, and programmed costs for employee health care and collective bargaining agreements. It also maintains the recommended unassigned fund balance percentage of 17%.
I’m proud your city commission voted unanimously to NOT increase the general tax rate, maintaining the previous year’s millage rate of 5.9587, and establishing the lowest combined debt and operating millage rate in 11 years. This kind of fiscal responsibility sets an important precedence for us to consider for future budget years.
Most of the key elements of our budget relate to the goals and objectives of the city’s strategic plan, which is our roadmap to the future. A few key highlights include:
✓ Hiring an economic development manager to act as a liaison between the city and businesses, both new and existing. The manager will also help recruit developers for the property owners who wish to redevelop their aging infrastructure.
✓ Forward progress on the Andrews Avenue/Oakland Park Boulevard corridor land use amendment.
✓ Funding for due diligence should we wish to move forward with redevelopment of the land surrounding City Hall.
✓ Funding for the Wilton Drive beautification project and renovations of Jaycee Park.
✓ Setting aside funds to invest in the proposed train station platform when the timing is right.
✓ Reduced dog park fees for both residents and non-residents alike.
✓ Resources for a Fourth of July celebration event (something we haven’t had in years which I was pleased to work with the city commission on including in the budget).
I believe one of the best ways forward to maintain funding for our city’s level and quality of services and alleviate the burden on current property owners is to expand the tax roll through carefully and limited increased density along our commercial and transit oriented corridors with redevelopments that conform to our city’s scale and small town sensibility. The fiscal year to come should bring progress in this area by us all working together. And the way we work together in the City of Wilton Manors, is just one more reason why our city’s tagline is ‘Life’s Just Better Here.’
Justin S. Flippen, J.D.
“The People’s Mayor”
Mayor, City of Wilton Manors