Budget Workshops

City of Atlantic Beach FY 21 Budget Workshops

I participated by Zoom in the three budget workshops completed in preparation for sending the draft budget ordinance to the Commission for first reading at the Sept 14th Commission Meeting. I provided comments on the budget iterations during the Courtesy of the Floor segment at the beginning of each workshop. These workshops are available to view at https://www.coab.us/506/Meeting-Videos.

The draft budgets are not user friendly, consisting almost exclusively of spreadsheets, with some graphs and little text explanation of the contents. By email, I provided the Commissioners with excerpts from the 2009-2010 Proposed Budget showing examples of pages used to make the budget more user friendly. The excerpts included a draft budget summary letter from the City Manager, which was updated with each budget iteration until a final letter was included with the approved budget. (I used the 2009-2010 budget year because it was the first “Proposed” budget I found in the City Budget archives, more recent years only include the final budget). Understanding that this is the first budget the City Manager and Finance Director have worked to build from scratch, and that COVID 19 precautions are impacting virtually every function of City business, this material was provided so that future budgets may become more easily understood by all concerned.

The budget proposes capital outlays in the coming fiscal year of over $8 million, but the only projects in the third draft are the Donner Road Improvement Project and the Police and Public Works Storage Building listed in the Capital Project Fund at just over $1.3 Million combined.

The Public Works Director and City Engineer discussed other proposed construction and repair projects shown on PowerPoint slides during the second and third workshops, but no cost figures or fund sources were included.

Because the draft budget did not include a comprehensive list showing proposed infrastructure projects with costs, at the August 10th Zoom Commission meeting, I asked that the City provide a list of the individual projects included in the proposed budget with costs by the September 14th meeting.

The latest (3rd) draft budget may be viewed at https://coab.civicweb.net/document/20138.

I urge concerned residents to be involved in our budget process.

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