Media Release - Ocean Ridge Presents Preliminary Fiscal Year 2021/2022 Budget
Ocean Ridge is preparing the Fiscal Year 2021/2022 Budget based upon the Commission, residents and staff recommendations. The goal is to maintain our current level of services and continue to improve our infrastructure needs through our five year capital improvement plan. Highlights: The total preliminary FY 2022 budget is $8.8 million as compared to the FY 2021 budget of $8.3 million, including an inter-fund transfer to the capital fund. The increase of $493,656 is primarily due to capital improvement projects such as necessary infrastructure repairs and improvements including drainage projects and uncontrollable increases in general operating expenses such as materials and supplies; insurance rates; retirement rates; legal fees; and raises for employees. Over half of this increase is for the unexpected, mandated bridge repairs of $240K.
The Fiscal Year 2022 proposed budget is a marked change from last year’s pandemic budget, and aggressively addresses capital projects while lowering the amount needed from reserves to balance the budget. While some towns are borrowing to cover their budgets due to loss in revenues from the effects of the pandemic, the Town of Ocean Ridge remains fiscally responsible and has not borrowed any money since 2007 when the new Town Hall was built.
The projected need to balance the budget with reserve funds has steadily increased over the past three years in order to address deferred infrastructure maintenance, while maintaining a flat millage rate of 5.35 (note: the millage rate has not increased more than .01% in the last 10 years). The Commission is considering a millage rate increase this year in order to preserve the reserve funds, and has set 5.65 as the maximum millage rate. The actual millage rate will be set during the final budget hearing on September 21st. Your Palm Beach County tax proposal which you should receive mid-August will reflect this maximum rate.
Preliminary Rates Compared to FY 2021: With an estimated 4.31% increase in the 2021 Taxable Value to $1.1 billion, the strength of Ocean Ridge’s residential market provides ad valorem tax revenues of $247,332 more than last year at the same millage rate of 5.35, or $583,201 at the maximum millage rate of 5.65.
The ad valorem impact for a property valued at $500,000 is an increase of about $115 at a flat mil rate of 5.35, or an increase of $271 at the maximum millage rate of 5.65. Comparatively, the ad valorem impact for a property valued at $1,000,000 is an increase of about $230 at a flat mil rate of 5.35, or an increase of $543 at the maximum millage rate of 5.65.
Employees: The preliminary FY 2022 budget funds 31 regular full-time governmental employees, along with 3 part-time employees and 2 Reserve Police Officers. The total employees for each department are as follows:
23 Full-time (18 Officers & 5 Dispatchers), 1 Part-time, and 2 Reserves in the Police Department
4 in Administration (employees shared with Building Department)
2 Full-time and 1 Part-time in the Building Department
2 Full-time and 1 Part-time in the Public Works Department
Capital and Major Maintenance Projects:
Bridge Repairs $240,000 (mandated by FDOT)
Replacement of Police Department & Building Department Vehicles $75,000
Maintenance of Town Hall (Painting, Door Replacements, Audio System) $94,000
Ocean Avenue Street Light Replacements $125,000 (mandated by FDOT)
Stormwater/Drainage Improvements $185,000
Potable Water Infrastructure Improvements $76,000
Repairs to the Porter Street beach Crossover $15,000
Installation of Lighting for a Crosswalk near Crown Colony $10,000
All-Terrain Vehicle Replacement for the Police Department $8,500
Commercial Lawn Mower for the Public Works Department $5,000
Total of Capital Improvements $833,500
Four public Town Commission Budget Workshops have concluded and the first public hearing on the proposed FY22 budget will be held on Tuesday, September 7th at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at Town Hall. The second and final public hearing, and adoption of the budget will be held on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at Town Hall. The Commission will set the final millage rate at this meeting. We encourage all residents to submit comments prior to the budget hearings and also attend the hearings.