TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) – Mayor Bob Buckhorn presented his recommended Fiscal Year 2015 budget to Tampa City Council Thursday morning.
For the first time since FY 2011, city officials say the budget is balanced without the use of reserve funds and without personnel layoffs or increased millage rates. In fact, the City of Tampa will contribute $1.3 million to the reserves resulting in a fund balance of 25% of operating expenditures which exceeds the City’s 20% fund balance policy.
“Today, city government is smarter, urban development is centered on our riverfront, and Tampa is recognized as one of America’s most vibrant cities. Our continued success in these efforts sets the stage for how and why we build in tomorrow’s Tampa,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn in a news release. "While the recession forced us to defer some projects, we are addressing our backlog of needs, particularly street flooding and road resurfacing. This budget allows us to strategically invest in our infrastructure and quality of life amenities that make Tampa a great city to live, work, and play.”
The $876.2 million budget proposal includes $138.9 million in capital improvements. The $35.5 million of the $45.3 million increase to the budget is primarily due to additional, critical infrastructure investments for roadway improvements and stormwater projects.
Major capital improvement projects and strategic investments include:
-Refurbishing 100 year old Old City Hall
-Design for Cuscaden Pool in VM Ybor and Julian B. Lane Riverfont Park
-Construction of Perry Harvey, Sr. Park
-Major stormwater investments including 43rd Street Regional Outfall, Peninsula Regional Drainage, Watrous Canal Rehabilitation, Kensington Avenue, Edison Avenue, and Marjory Avenue
-30% one-year budget increase or $4 million for expansion of resurfacing program
-City leaders closed a $6.3 million projected operating shortfall through increased property tax revenues, pension savings, and departmental reductions.
Photo Credit 970 WFLA/K. Norman