Tonight, August 22, 2012 is the Town of Lake Park’s first budget workshop meeting starting at 6:30 pm in the Town Hall chambers. This is the time the commissioners along with the town staff work to hopefully lower the town’s budget for the upcoming year.
So far this year, the commission has voted to lower the operating millage rate from 8.5083 to 8.5000, which is 0.10% less than last year. Now that the commission has set the maximum millage, we will need to work together to make the budget work within the limits. Can it be done? Yes if the commission works together instead of fighting.
The other item is the Debt service millage rate. As proposed in this year’s budget, the debt millage rate will drop from 1.82 for this past year to 1.7921. This is a drop of 1.53% over last year’s debt service millage. Yea, we are paying off the town’s debt.
Now as part of this budget, the town will keep the same basic number of employees with the exception of the CRA employee, which has been deleted. One sanitation position is deleted which was one of the mechanic positions. A part time position was also deleted in public works also. Over all, the town will have a total of 55.94 full time equivalent positions for the upcoming year. This is only a change of 2.40 FTE from last year.
One of the other items that is about to change for the upcoming year is that there will be no furlough days. That will mean that town hall will be opened every day that it should be. The library should also be open more days than it is now currently opened.
Now as you go through the budget, there are several items that are planned to be changed. One item which has been a big change is that the employee health insurance. The rates are going to be approximately 2.9% less than last year. Why is the insurance lower than last year? One item is that the employees will have a $250 in Network deductible for the employee and $750 if they have a family plan. Last year there was no deductible for in network. Now several other items change as well. Most important thing is that the overall cost is down.
In addition, the property and casualty insurance is 5.9% lower this year also. Dental insure is also lower by 19.9% over last year. If you add all the differences, you end up $31,876 dollars less than last year. Add this to the other changes where we are able to lower our cost and you end up spending less in the end.
Is there room to modify more items in the budget, yes? There is a lot of cost that the town pays for such as cell phones, DSL, and many equipment leases.
So hopefully over the next month, the commission will be able to continue to lower the operating cost without giving up the town’s service such as the public safety.
Come and give your input at the meetings. It is your time to tell the commission what you think should be done. The commission is spending your money.