Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lower revenue and uneasy populace makes Zephyrhills budget process tricky

ZEPHYRHILLS — The City Council mulled over budget options Monday during a time when tax revenue is decreasing and residents are suffering from a tight economy. Members also approved annexation of a parcel of land near Chancey Road that they hope would build revenue in the future.

In a workshop on the city's next budget, the focus was on shoring up possible shortfalls and improving on a previous draft that was short by $132,000.

To balance the budget, the draft would eliminate two vacant city positions (code inspector and curator at the Zephyrhills Depot Museum) and would not include any new employees or pay raises.

If next year's millage rate is kept the same as last year's, City Manager Steve Spina said, the city would generate almost $446,000 less. The council weighed cutting back on services vs. increasing taxes and fees.

Council member Luis Lopez made it clear that the council was stuck with a tough decision.

"They're going to notice, either way," Lopez said. "And they're going to want our heads on a platter, either way."

Lopez said uncertainties about when the economy would turn around and an uneasy populace made the decision even more difficult.

"People are seeing a trend already, and they're starting to get agitated over reduced services," Lopez said. "They're afraid of that term, 'reduced services.' People are getting pretty tense."

The council has through August to draft the final version of the budget. Public discussions of the budget are tentatively scheduled for September.

The council also approved the annexation of almost 53 acres of land owned by Chancey Partners LLC in hopes the land would bring manufacturing jobs into the city and increase the tax base. The council also approved the first reading of an ordinance to rezone the land to industrial use.

The land in question is north of Chancey Road and east of Sam Pasco Park.

Lower revenue and uneasy populace makes Zephyrhills budget process tricky 07/13/09 [Last modified: Monday, July 13, 2009 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.