October, 2018

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October Mayor’s Column

In September, Wellington’s Council adopted a $96.8 million balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2018 -2019. The Village’s budget is one of the most concrete expressions of public policy, as it sets forth the priorities for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019. The adopted budget will serve as a road map for how funds will be allocated, and as a checks and balances system to make sure we are spending Village funds properly. My fellow Council members and I are committed to adhering to Wellington’s core values focusing on families, neighborhoods, and our residents.  With Wellington property values up 5.2% and a positive economic outlook, we were able to balance the budget in order to continue to provide an outstanding level of service to our residents.

This year’s budget calls for a total spending of approximately $96.8 million, about $13.6 million less than last year due to early payoff of governmental debt and decreases in capital projects that were budgeted in the previous fiscal year. The adopted millage rate for FY 2019 is 2.48 mills, which is 0.05 mills higher than FY 2018 tax rate of 2.43. There is no change in the ACME non-assessment rate, which remains at $230, and no change in the Solid Waste rates, which remains at $135 for curbside and $100 for containerized services. The water and wastewater rates will be indexed by 3.5% on October 1st. Total Wellington taxes, including ACME assessments and solid waste collection, comprise approximately 17% of the average resident’s tax bill.

The Village’s most significant area of expenditures is maintenance of the Village’s streets, parks, trails, and storm water management system.  Included in the new budget is additional spending for law enforcement, as we continue to focus on safety and maintaining the outstanding services provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.  This year’s budget calls for Capital Project spending of approximately $15.8 million.  Major projects slated for this year’s budget include the Greenbriar Park Improvements and the Forest Hill culvert improvements as well as major upgrades to the water and wastewater facilities. The Village has also earmarked $1.2 million towards the Lake Wellington Waterfront Activation which starts with public outreach.   

The budget also continues Wellington’s commitment to supporting our schools with $400,000 in Keeli Spinelli grant contributions for reading and math programs in each of our 11 local schools, $51,000 for the Wellington Senior’s Club, and $56,000 toward the County’s ADA paratransit services.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our many outreach efforts.  From taking part in our Budget Challenge survey at our Senior Symposiums and Amphitheater events, to tweeting and following us on Facebook,  I encourage you to be a part of our many outreach options including attending Council meetings and public hearings as they are announced.

In the meantime, feel free to contact me or any member of Council with questions or input. You can find a copy of the final budget for 2018-2019 and updated fee schedule at www.wellingtonfl.gov/budget.

I encourage you to sign up for our monthly newsletter, where we keep you up to date on matters that affect our community.  Click on the following link to begin receiving updates: www.wellingtonfl.gov/discover-us/signup

I look forward to seeing you around our Great Hometown this month.