Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Safety Harbor budget cut menu items leave sour taste

SAFETY HARBOR — City Manager Matt Spoor gave Safety Harbor commissioners a menu of cuts to choose from in order to balance next year's budget.

Furloughs and salary reductions for city workers were on the table. So were plans to close the library on Sundays and the Rigsby Center at 3 p.m. Fridays.

"This is merely an exercise for us to sit up here, have banter and ask questions (about) how it may affect staff, how it may affect services, how it may affect anything," Mayor Andy Steingold said during Monday night's meeting. "He's not saying you need to cut it or not."

Since mid July, commissioners have tried to figure out ways to balance the budget without dipping into reserves more than they already have.

They pulled $600,000 out of savings two years ago, then $800,000 last year. When Spoor presented the new budget to commissioners on July 17, he proposed an even bigger take: $1.2 million.

The pattern — seemingly exponential increases — disturbed Steingold.

"We have money in reserves that we probably need to spend down a little bit," he said. "But at the rate we're spending it down, you almost have to pull the brakes and start slowing down."

Commissioners told Spoor they were fine with taking out another $800,000 in reserves, but no more. That meant Spoor had to go back to the drawing board and find $400,000 in potential cuts to make up the difference, which he presented during Monday night's meeting.

No one endorsed furloughs, salary reductions or library closures. But commissioners did exceed their $400,000 target and endorse $665,500 worth of other probable trims.

Among other things, they agreed to reduce funding for the city's street resurfacing program, which will save the city $300,000. They decided to delay fencing the Little League fields and save $70,000. Commissioners even eliminated their $30,000 travel and $25,000 education budgets.

There could be more cuts, but commissioners don't have to render a final decision until Sept. 8, when budget public hearings are scheduled to begin.

Rodney Thrash can be reached at rthrash@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4167.

Safety Harbor budget cut menu items leave sour taste 08/06/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 6, 2010 8:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy

    Retail

    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Four questions with Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith before he helps lead the St. Pete Pride parade

    Human Interest

    A decade ago, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith was afraid to tell his friends and family he was gay.

    Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith will serve as a grand marshal at the St. Pete Pride parade on Saturday. [City of Largo]
  3. Lawsuit: Florida contractor fakes death to dodge angry homeowners

    Human Interest

    SEMINOLE — For weeks, Glenn Holland, 67, crawled out of bed before the sun rose to look for a dead man.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. What you need to know for Friday, June 23

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Graffiti butts are everywhere in downtown St. Pete. What's going on? [CHRISTOPHER SPATA | Times]
  5. Owners to level Port Richey flea market but may rebuild

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — The owners of the recently shuttered USA Flea Market have agreed to demolish all structures on the property, leaving open the possibility of rebuilding the weekend shopping attraction, according to Pasco County officials.

    Pasco County officials shut down the USA Flea Market after it received hundreds of citations for health and code violations.