July Mayor’s Column


Mayor’s Column


By Mayor Anne Gerwig

Summer is well underway in our Great Hometown.  How are you spending these long summer days?

Summer is always a busy time around the Village. In addition to our always popular Parks and Recreation programs and events, we have multiple Capital Improvement Projects.

Here is an update of a few of these projects:

  • Forest Hill Boulevard Sink Hole Repair: Construction anticipated to be completed this month, weather permitting.
  • Hawthorne Neighborhood Park Project: Construction anticipated to be completed August 2017. 
  • Dorchester Park Observation Platform: The project is currently in the design phase.  Construction is scheduled to start in August 2017.  
  • For a complete list of our capital improvement projects taking place around Wellington, please click this link: Capital Improvement Projects

It’s that time of the year – budget time. We are preparing the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget.  Wellington is proposing a millage decrease from 2.44 to 2.43 mills for the 2018 budget.  This will be the fourth millage decrease since 2012.  Wellington’s preliminary estimated property taxable value of $8.02 billion is 7.5% higher than last year and that will generate $1.14 million more in ad valorem tax revenues. Using an averaged assessed value of $303,000 at the proposed 2.43 millage rate, homesteaded property taxes would increase by $4 from prior year.  Non-homesteaded property taxes would increase by $55 from prior year.  The ACME and Solid Waste assessments remain the same.  The annual indexing of the Utility User Rates will increase 2.5% which equates to an approximate $.46 cent increase in the water and wastewater base rates.

Every year as part of the budget development process, Wellington reviews its capital improvement plan to identify major improvements needed in order to maintain our capital facilities and equipment. Some of the capital projects included in the proposed 2018 budget include:

  • South Shore Blvd & Pierson Road Intersection Improvements ($477,000)
  • Water Reclamation Facility Renewal ($6.6 million)
  • Water Treatment Plant Renewal ($2.9 million)
  • Expansion of Multiuse Path & Bike Lanes ($300,000)
  • Improvements to the Neighborhood Trails System ($300,000)
  • Peaceful Waters boardwalk renewal and replacement ($400,000)
  • Sales Surtax Capital Improvement Projects ($3.5 million)

The $3.5 million in sales surtax capital improvement projects is funded by the additional one-cent sales surtax approved by voters in last year’s General Election in November, 2016.

We need your input.  Please take the Budget Challenge on the Village website.  Let us know your budget priorities.

Another major focus is our Parks and Recreation.  With children out of school for the summer, our already hectic schedules become even tighter.  Have you given any thought to our summer programs?   Our Parks & Recreation Department offers a wide variety of fantastic summer time activities including summer camp, swimming, tennis program, team sports, as well as a variety of individual activities.   Our summer camps are a great place for kids to have fun, socialize, and exercise while staying safe.  The camp programs serve children ages 5 to 15 and runs through August 11th.  From sporting and entertainment activities, to animal exhibits, rock wall climbing, trips to the Aquatics Complex, and so much more, this is an experience your children will never forget. Visit our Wellington Summer Camp page to learn more. 

We all know the perfect way to beat the summer heat is to go swimming.  That’s why we’re offering expanded hours at the Aquatics Complex this summer. From May 30th to September 5th, the pool will open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm; Sundays from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and on holidays from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 

On Tuesday, July 4th, bring the entire family to Village Park and join us for the biggest and best party in town, celebrating our nation’s independence.  Families are invited to participate in a fun-filled day of games, food, and musical entertainment. At 9:15 pm, we’ll light up the sky with an awe-inspiring fireworks display.  The event starts at 6:00 pm and runs until 9:30 pm. Visit our event page for more information.  I look forward to seeing you all there.

Finally, I want to offer some safety reminders.  With school being out, kids will be outdoors riding bikes and playing.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to obey speed limits and pay close attention to the road while you’re driving.  Before your children go bike riding, make sure they’re wearing helmets. 

We are also monitoring the weather.  Hurricane season is a time to be prepared.  Please visit our Storm Update Page for information, and monitor our social media channels for the latest notifications.

As you can see, we have a lot in store for our community this summer.  Let’s make sure to stay safe, so we can do it all again next year.

I look forward to seeing you around the Village this summer, enjoying our Great Hometown!