I hope everyone had a great summer and I’d like to extend best wishes for an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend. The summer seems to have gone by so fast. If you have children in your home, then you know that summer vacation has come to an end as school begins. Perhaps not everyone is excited about returning to school, but I know our teachers are ready to create adventures, challenges and opportunities to learn something new.
With school starting, we need to remember that kids will be waiting for buses, riding their bikes or walking to school. Please keep your eyes out for children on your commute and remember to slow down for school zones. We wish all the students, from the new kindergartners experiencing school for the first time, to the senior class preparing to head out into the world, good luck in the upcoming school year. While we will miss the summer days the City is looking forward to the approaching fall season and the new energy that changes in seasons bring to our community. As we see the children returning to a new school year – with all the wonderful activity this brings back to our community – your City government will also return from the ‘summer’ work schedule.
Beginning in September, the City’s yearly Public Budget Hearings will return. They will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 12, and 26. We look forward to reporting to you over the coming weeks updates on the budget, projects in progress, and new initiatives to be as we consider input from residents, the Commission, and our City Manager, regarding issues of interest and/or concerns in the City. For your information, thanks to our City Manager, I have listed some data concerning the upcoming budget meetings and some plans the City is considering.
The procedures and timetables for taxation and the establishment of the budget are governed by a series of rules of the State of Florida. These rules are generally referred to as TRIM (Truth in Millage). The attached resolution deals with the establishment of the maximum millage rate, rollback millage rate, and scheduling formal budget public hearings in accordance with TRIM.
A primary source of revenue for municipal government is the property or ad valorem tax. Property taxes applied to commercial and residential real property and also for commercial personal property. The rate at which property is taxed is referred to as the millage rate. The amount of taxes paid by a property owner is determined by multiplying the millage rate times each $1,000.00 of assessed property value.
All local governments are required, at the beginning of the budget process, to establish a maximum millage rate. This rate will be advertised by the City and also delivered to the Broward County P r o p e r t y Appraiser. The rate can be decreased by the commission during the budget process, but it cannot be increased except under extraordinary circumstances. The proposed millage rate being put forth at this time is 9.42 mills. This mileage rate allows average property owners to pay less ad valorem tax value than they paid last year, thus allowing the City to receive less ad valorem revenue than last year. To generate the same ad valorem revenue as last year, the millage rate would have to be 9.8686 mills.
The Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office has certified the total taxable value within the City at $337,429,721. This valuation represents an 8.44% decrease over the Fiscal Year 2011- 12 level of $368,537,255. What is more profound is the trend of total taxable value from fiscal year 2005-06 to 2012-13. See the Taxable Value Trend table below with its associated bar chart. It should be noted that the change in total taxable value from year of incorporation (2005-06) to 2012/13 is -23.9%.
This decrease in taxable value is attributable to the economic downturn that we have been experiencing nationwide. Property values have decreased dramatically; which is evident in the City’s taxable value. We therefore tentatively set a proposed millage rate of 9.42 mills. The commission will still have the ability to re-consider the rate during the budget hearings.
Although the property values have dropped, our goal is to continue to provide a high level of service without drastically increasing our taxation. The City is required to hold two formal Budget Public Hearings. As indicated by our City Manager in the June 20, 2012 memorandum to the City Commission, the following dates were recommended, considering constraints of the guidelines on when municipalities can hold budget hearings
FIRST BUDGET HEARING:
Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Time: 6:00 P.M.
Place: City Commission Chamber
1965 South State Road 7
West Park, Florida 33023
SECOND BUDGET HEARING:
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Time: 6:00 P.M.
Place: City Commission Chamber
1965 South State Road 7
West Park, Florida 33023
For further information, which can be found on the City’s website I’ve listed some projects that’s being planned.
A. Capital Improvement Plan (CIP):
The CIP is an official statement of public policy regarding long range physical development in the City. CIP is a multi-year scheduling of major purchases, infrastructure improvements and construction of public facilities. The most common definition includes: “new or expanded physical facilities that are relatively large in size and cost and permanent in nature.” The CIP will be updated annually to add new projects, reevaluate programmed and projected priorities and to incorporate recommendations, taking into account new requirements and available funding. The annual capital programming process provides the following benefits:
• The CIP serve as a source of information about the city’s physical development and capital expenditures.
• The CIP allows management staff to plan for future operating requirements to coincide with completed capital projects.
• The CIP provides mechanism for coordinating among projects with respect to funding location and timing, and ensures that the most crucial projects are developed first.
• The CIP is a tool for implementing the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
• The CIP also focus on preserving the investment of the City’s infrastructure, while ensuring the efficient use of public funds. The features of the CIP include the following information:
• The description of the project or equipment to be purchased.
• The justification for the project or equipment to be purchased. • Identified funding categories, such as, Unfunded or partially funded or funded.
• The projects are ranked in order of priority.
• A timetable for the completion of the project is provided.
B. McTyre Park Master Plan:
The City of West Park, a relatively young, but thriving, municipality, founded in 2005, has made one of its missions to develop a City with high community involvement with a keen interest in creating playground and recreational facilities for its residents and surrounding communities to enjoy, thus contributing to their maxim as a City of Positive Progression. They have recently been awarded a ‘Playful City USA’ designation recognizing their efforts in increasing play opportunities for children. In keeping with this commitment, the City has identified the 18.5 acre McTyre Park to be evaluated for improvements documented in the attached Master Plan report. The park property is located at 3501 SW 56th Avenue, immediately north of Watkins Elementary School; its bounding communities are: City of West Park to the West, Town of Pembroke Park to the east and north. The site now hosts a variety of scheduled sport activities for the City’s youth and adult population as well as senior, youth and community programs in its highly used, but gravely undersized community center, located in the NW corner.
The majority of the existing Park is dedicated to open fieldsenior, youth and community programs in its highly used, but gravely undersized community center, located in the NW corner. The majority of the existing Park is dedicated to open field sports activities and includes 4 outdoor basketball courts, 1 football field, 1 outdoor sand volleyball court; 3 rental pavilions, a covered tot lot and a walking path. It also has a small community center which is highly used by the community, as well as a concessions stand with restrooms and a press box, which are all non-ADA compliant.
The master plan is intended to address the feasibility of introducing an intensive athletic and community environment with various support facilities including expanded surface parking. With these interests in mind, the City has engaged the services of McHarry Associates to develop a coherent and consolidated master plan for their 18.5 acre McTyre Park that could be implemented in phases as funding becomes available. Initially, the planning study focused on broad-brush scope issues which assisted in defining primary site constraints; key among them is adequate parking facilities to match the scale of proposed development as well as designing around the existing WLRN/MDCPS communications towers and related support structures located in the northeast section of the property.
C. Neighborhood Traffic Calming Study Area “A”:
The City of West Park retained Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. to assess traffic conditions within the neighborhood bounded by SW 56th Avenue to the east, SR 7 (US 441) to the west, Hallandale Beach Boulevard (SR 858) to the north, and NE 215th Street (County Line Road) to the south. The objective of this study is to determine if improvements are necessary to enhance the quality of life for the residents by managing traffic concerns in a manner to minimize throughtraffic intrusion into the residential neighborhood and to maintain vehicle speeds at suitable levels. This report presents input from the residents and the City of West Park staff, field observations, traffic counts, vehicle speed measurements, an analysis of existing traffic conditions, and a conceptual improvement plan.
D. Neighborhood Traffic Calming Study Area “B”:
The City of West Park retained Kimley-Horn and Associates,, Inc. to assess traffic conditions within the Carve r Ranches neighborhood generally bounded by SW 38th Avenue to the east, SW 58tth Avenue to the west, Pembroke Road (SR- 824) to the north, and Hallandale Beach Boulevard (SR-858) to the south. The objective of this study is to determine if improvements are necessary to enhance the quality of life for the residents by managing traffic concerns in a manner to minimize through-traffic intrusion into the residential neighborhood and to maintain vehicle speeds at suitable levels. This report presents input from the residents and the City of West Park staff, field observations, traffic counts, vehicle speed measurements, an analysis of existing traffic conditions, and a conceptual improvement plan.
Every day it seems I get positive news about the direction of our City. As I am out and about seeing and talking with residents, businessmen and women and other elected officials, I am hearing many good things. Although we are making great strides little by little we still hope to see things get better. I see evidence of the positive in this City over and over again. I always go back to our beginning and the goals we had. I truly believe that every day we get closer to being premier community. I am always amazed at how our City Staff works at achieving the high standards that our residents deserve.
It is great being the Mayor of West Park— “THE CITY OF POSITIVE PROGRESSION”. GOD BLESS YOU ALL, GOD BLESS OUR CITY, AND GOD BLESS AMERICA.