Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

Stormwater hike, once-weekly trash proposed in 2015 Dunedin budget

DUNEDIN — Residents can expect to pay the same property tax rate under the budget proposed for next fiscal year, but they will likely see a bump in their stormwater bills.

If city commissioners next month approve finance director Karen Feeney's 2015 plan, homeowners would continue to pay $3.73 per $1,000 of taxable, assessed property value. That means a property owner with a home assessed at $150,000 with a $50,000 homestead exemption is likely to see a city tax bill of $373.

Elected leaders are still working with a consultant to figure out exactly how much stormwater fees will rise, but Feeney said she expects the increase to be no more than 50 cents per month for homeowners.

Meanwhile, trash rates are expected to go up 5 percent for commercial customers only as the city transitions in January from twice-weekly waste pickup to once-weekly trash, recycling and bulk collection.

"It's to bring the rates more in line with the cost of service," Feeney said, adding that the rate increase wouldn't apply to residential customers.

The proposed $72.9 million budget represents a decrease from this year's budget of $76.8 million.

"It decreased because of capital projects. We're winding down on some big ones" that improved water, sewer and stormwater, Feeney said.

Large projects planned for 2015 include a new City Hall and government services building (for which $2.1 million is budgeted in 2015 and the remaining $1 million or more anticipated for 2016); $2.3 million worth of water and sewer work; and $3.5 million for stormwater projects.

The city also plans to spend $2.6 million on vehicles, including roughly $612,000 for a new fire truck and $820,000 to replace aging trash trucks.

No layoffs are proposed. Officials have set aside about $700,000 to cover raises of 3 percent for the city's roughly 340 employees, matching pay increases negotiated for firefighters.

A 9 percent increase in health costs was recommended to bring rates in line with equivalent increases by the city's insurer during the past two years.

Most employees pay $21.66 a month for Dunedin's base HMO plan, Feeney said, and the proposed increase would amount to about $1.95 more a month: "But we aren't finished negotiating with our third-party administrator. We may be able to do some plan design things that make it a little bit less," she said.

The public gets to weigh in during budget hearings set for Sept. 18 and 25. The new budget year starts Oct. 1.

Contact Keyonna Summers at [email protected] or (727) 445-4153. Follow @KeyonnaSummers.

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Strangers are coming together to honor two killed in Bayshore crash

TAMPA — John Reisinger has seen miracles since his niece and 21-month-old grand-niece were killed while trying to cross Bayshore Boulevard 30 days ago. Some, he says, are too painful to talk about. Others he’s still trying to make sense of, such as h...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Updated: 12 hours ago