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Zephyrhills adds $7,500 to budget for chamber of commerce

ZEPHYRHILLS — City Council members didn't make any sweeping changes in the city's proposed 2011-12 budget during Monday's workshop at City Hall, but it wasn't their last opportunity, either.

City Manager Jim Drumm, went over the 42-page budget with council members, who asked to make one minor change, bowing to the request of Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce for additional funds.

Drumm budgeted $2,500 for the organization that supports local businesses, but said he "plugged in" that number after reviewing the history of the city's contributions. That number, however, prompted chamber officials to ask the city to increase its contribution by $7,500 to bring its support to the level it was just a few years ago.

"The chamber has made a greater commitment to working with and supporting the city by collaborating on a number of projects over the past year," chamber executive director Vonnie Mikkelsen and treasurer and president-elect John Scott wrote in an Aug. 4 letter. "Additionally and independent of these, we have set a foundation for relevant economic development initiatives that will help bring in the right types of business, thereby increasing tax revenues and improving the overall quality of life in Zephyrhills."

Council members agreed wholeheartedly, saying the organization has done much these past couple of years in supporting the city's businesses and it plays a vital role in the Community Redevelopment Area.

Drumm said the city has the funds available and most can be taken from the CRA fund.

Council members also praised the new city manager on his work with city finance director Stacie Poppell. Council Vice President Kent Compton said this was "the sharpest budget" he's ever seen.

The council will discuss the budget again during its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 22.

A public hearing on the millage rate, which at 5.9999 mills is unchanged from this year, is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 12. That would mean property owners would pay $5.99 in city taxes for every $1,000 of taxable property value.

The City Council will take its final budget vote Sept. 26. It goes into effect Oct. 1.

Zephyrhills adds $7,500 to budget for chamber of commerce 08/09/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 6:09pm]
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