Thursday, September 20, 2018
News Roundup

Temple Terrace holds public hearings on next year’s $42 million budget

TEMPLE TERRACE — The City Council this week holds the first of two public hearings on the proposed $42 million annual operating budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

Because a rise in property values has put more tax money in city coffers, the council is expected to drop the tax rate from $6.955 per thousand dollars of home value to $6.555 per thousand.

The $42,087,653 proposed budget includes a 6 percent raise in the employee compensation fund, $1.4 million to complete payment of the ongoing renovation of the Family Recreation Center and $750,000 for a new fire truck. The city will also put $200,000 in the general fund reserves.

The council is expected to approve the budget in two public hearings, today (Sept. 4) and Sept. 18.

The budget is slightly higher than the 2017-18 operating budget. For accounting purposes, last year’s budget obligations included a nearly $24 million payoff on an old loan to buy and improve downtown redevelopment acreage. The city refinanced the loan in the spring.

The path to completing the budget was far smoother than last year, when council members complained about confusing numbers and glaring errors. Finance Director Lyn Boswell, who was then new to the city, said she had based the budget projections on figures from the previous finance director.

The document was cleaned up after Boswell, City Manager Charles Stephenson and a resident volunteer, retired accountant Gil Schisler, huddled over a weekend to work on it. Schisler, currently a candidate for a council seat Nov. 6, said a number of errors were caused by an old "cut and paste’’ system of transferring numbers from one format to another. He said a new software program solved much of the problem.

Council Member David Pogorilich praised Boswell and Schisler for making this year’s ritual "a good budget cycle.’’

Comments
Bloomingdale High School teacher secretly recorded 'multiple’ students since January 2017, records show

Bloomingdale High School teacher secretly recorded 'multiple’ students since January 2017, records show

BRANDON — When Bloomingdale High School teacher Mark Ackett was arrested last week and accused of placing cell phones in a changing room to record students undressing, several question remained unanswered.Among them: When did the recording beg...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Publix has pumpkin spice everything on sale, and other deals this week in coupons (Sept. 20-26)

Publix has pumpkin spice everything on sale, and other deals this week in coupons (Sept. 20-26)

Sometimes, the coupon gods align. And, man, that’s beautiful because everyone loves so-cheap-it’s-almost-free stuff.Vegetarians rejoice: This week’s steal of a deal is for you. Publix has Quorn "chick’n" nuggets and patties on BOGO (buy one, get one)...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Homes sales jump in Pinellas and Hillsborough in August after months of declines

Homes sales jump in Pinellas and Hillsborough in August after months of declines

Home sales in August hit their highest levels in a year in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties as prices throughout the Tampa Bay area continued to rise. In Pinellas, sales of single-family homes jumped nearly 7 percent from the same month a year ago....
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Carlton: Should felons who have done their time get to vote? Citizens of Florida, it’s in your hands

Carlton: Should felons who have done their time get to vote? Citizens of Florida, it’s in your hands

It’s not often that we citizens — busy with work, paying the bills, living our lives — find ourselves with the power to right a fundamental wrong.But here in Florida, we’re about to get that chance.On the November ballot — amongst all those candidate...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
New coaches try to re-ignite Gators-Vols rivalry

New coaches try to re-ignite Gators-Vols rivalry

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If any venue screams for a '90s retro night, it's Neyland Stadium.The University of Tennessee will deliver Saturday when it recognizes its 1998 national titlists, whose improbable season was getting wound up just as Sein...
Updated: 17 minutes ago

Madeira Beach keeps tax rate steady

MADEIRA BEACH — The City Commission recently voted to leave the city’s tax rate at $2.20 per $1,000 in assessed, taxable property value, where it has been for the last three years. Though the rate remains the same, many property owners ...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
New DNA testing leads to arrest in rape, murder of Sarasota woman 19 years ago

New DNA testing leads to arrest in rape, murder of Sarasota woman 19 years ago

The Sarasota County's Sheriff's Office arrested a St. Petersburg man after linking him to a 19-year-old murder case through DNA testing.Deputies arrested 39-year-old Luke Fleming in the rape and slaying of Deborah Dalzell in March 1999, Sarasota Coun...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia soon to surpass the mentor who once fired him

Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia soon to surpass the mentor who once fired him

TAMPA — After practice Monday, Hillsborough High School players formed a ragged line in the football fieldhouse. The man handing out the ice cream sandwiches kept making sure no one cut in line or got seconds before others got firsts."Yeah, a r...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Redington Beach keeps tax rate level

REDINGTON BEACH — Town commissioners voted recently to keep the current property tax rate the same for next year of $1.81 for every $1,000 in assessed, taxable property value. Though the rate remains the same, many property owners will pay mor...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Belleair Beach plans project to bury utility lines

BELLEAIR BEACH — Utility undergrounding in the Bellevue Estates neighborhood will go forward, despite a significant increase in resident assessments. The City Council voted recently unanimously to approve higher assessments and related conditi...
Updated: 1 hour ago