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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Lake Wales Approves $99 Million Budget, $104 Million Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan, at 2nd Reading

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by James Coulter

The City of Lake Wales approved its city budget for the next fiscal year, as well as adopted a $104 five-year capital improvement plan, at its city commission meeting last Monday.

During their regular meeting, city commissioners voted unanimously to approve three measures concerning the city’s budget for the next fiscal year of 2023-2024. The three measures involved the city millage rate, city budget, and five-year capital improvement plan.

The city budget will include a millage rate of 7.12. The current rolled-back rate is 6.12, which makes the approved millage rate “a percentage change of rolled back rate [of] 16.34%,” according to the city staff memo.

The total funding for next year’s city budget will be more than $99 million, which includes more than $26 million in the general fund. The general fund revenues, according to the city staff memo, are estimated to be “$1,813,360 more than budgeted.”

This increase of $1,813,360 in general fund revenues is due to many factors, including an increase in ad valorem tax of $856,225 and an increase in sales and use taxes of $80,000, mainly due to an increase in utility taxes, according to the city staff memo.

Meanwhile, general fund “operating” expenditures are estimated to be more than $21 million, which is “$3,915,033 more than budgeted.” This increase is due to several factors, including an increase in general government services of $513,352.

City commissioners also adopted a Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan, which will be in effect from this fiscal year up until that of 2027/28. The 5-year plan will total $104 million, which includes $73 million in infrastructure and recreation improvements.

This plan will include, according to the city staff memo, “all capital facility and infrastructure improvements which staff believes should be undertaken during the next five years.”

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Staff Reporter

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