As Dunedin eyes 2015 budget, planners set aside $4M to keep Blue Jays
DUNEDIN -- City budget planners so far don't anticipate layoffs or another property tax rate increase in 2015, but officials say the city may have to defer some capital projects to help prevent deficits and build reserves.
Finance director Karen Feeney says some revenues, like ad valorem and sales taxes, are expected to increase, but Dunedin will have to contend with unexpected challenges like an increased contribution to the fire pension and a potential rise in EMS costs due to changes at the county level.
She and City Manager Rob DiSpirito are recommending 3 percent merit raises for non-union city employees to match those already built into next year's firefighter contract.
Planners have already tentatively budgeted $4 million to serve in 2015 or 2016 as Dunedin's match of state and county funds likely needed for improvements or additions to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, where the Toronto Blue Jays train each spring. The team has threatened to leave because it is unhappy with the facilities.