No Increase Expected In Belleair Shore Budget
By Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR BLUFFS – Town commissioners began thinking of the fiscal 2010 budget at their meeting Tuesday night and Mayor John Robertson says he expects Belleair Shore’s finances to be almost a duplicate of last year’s.
Work sheets were handed out to commissioners and each will report back with his figures at next month’s meeting. Robertson said all are pretty much in accord with each other.
Belleair Shore’s current budget is $86,387 and a similar figure is forecast for the next fiscal year. The tax rate of .5256 mill (that’s little more than half a mill) is expected to remain about the same.
Figures for property values have not yet been issued by the county appraiser’s office, but Robertson said valuations in all residential Belleair Shores may be down about $600,000 in a town where the total valuation is about $125 million.
The way Belleair Shore has constructed its annual budget since Robertson has been mayor is to first list all possible expenses and then figure the income to meet that demand. Many jurisdictions establish a millage rate then figure out how to spend the money that comes in.
Of course, Belleair Shore, a tiny town, does not face the demands that larger jurisdictions do.
While Robertson said he expects the commission to pretty much wrap up the budget at next month’s meeting, final approval will come in September after public hearings. When the commission established the current budget last year, the outlay was 3.3 percent down from the previous year.
Belleair Shore’s fiscal affairs have been carefully and artfully managed since Robertson became mayor. The town, once plagued with law suits, used to have annual expenditures of $100,000 or more.
Tuesday night the commission passed the new building permits ordinance on first reading. This version updates totally what had been in place and incorporates county and state building codes and standard codes for plumbing, electric, etc.
As part of the code as crafted by John Elias, the town’s attorney, anyone applying for a building permit must acknowledge that they know the Belleair Shore code and have complied with all the rules.
Among the provisions of the code is a requirement that any construction must be completed within two years of issuance of the permit and building must begin immediately.
There is a provision for extension of the required times in the case of special circumstances or problems.
Among projects facing the town is replacing the off-shore buoys, about two-thirds of which have been ripped up as the result of sea action. The cost of replacing them is estimated to be less than $10,000.
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