DADE CITY — Commissioners held a workshop Tuesday evening to hash out details of the 2009-10 city budget, but barely discussed an interesting line item — $100,000 toward the first steps of a new City Hall.
The proposed $20.1 million budget has nearly doubled since last year mostly due to grant-funded utility projects. The proposed budget is based on a tax rate of $7.10 in tax for every $1,000 in taxable property value.
At the workshop, commissioners picked apart the more than $5,000 budgeted toward the monthly Movie in the Park program.
A new City Hall has long been on the wish list for Dade City.
The current building's exterior dates to the 1920s, when construction began on a three-story hotel downtown. But work was suspended after the 1929 stock market crash, and the hotel was never finished. The city bought the property sometime later, and by the 1940s, the structure was fashioned into City Hall.
The $100,000 would go to an architectural firm to assess the city's spatial needs and then design a plan for the new building, which would most likely be built at the current City Hall location.
City Manager Billy Poe said the city would pursue grants and low-interest loans for the building's construction.
"Ideally we'd like to have it started within a year; it depends when all the funding happens," Poe said before the workshop.
As far as Movie in the Park, hosted by Dade City's Youth Council, the commission asked if the funding was necessary, given plans to cut $2,500 in contributions to Habitat for Humanity and $1,000 to Sunrise domestic violence shelter.
Some movie program costs are offset through donations and concession sales at the events.
The commission decided to move $1,000 from the movie program back to Sunrise. The city will also try to come up with an additional $1,000 for Habitat for Humanity.
Helen Anne Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 435-7312.