Monday, October 19, 2020
72.5 F
The Villages

Wildwood Commission gives final blessing to healthy $56.9 million budget

Wildwood commissioners approved a $56.9 million budget Monday night for the 2019-2020 fiscal year that cuts property taxes.

The tax rate of $3.398 per $1,000 of assessed valuation is down from this year’s rate of $3.658 and at the rolled-back rate, which is the amount needed to collect the same revenue as the prior year not including new construction.

The owner of a home assessed at $200,000 after homestead credits would pay about $680 in city taxes, down from about $740 this year. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

New construction in the Villages of Southern Oaks and other projects will boost Wildwood’s property tax revenue by 71 percent, despite the rate reduction. The city expects to collect $5.3 million in property tax revenue next year, up from $3.1 million this year.

The city also receives revenue from local options taxes, including the gas tax, as well as franchise fees from utility providers, utility service fees and the law enforcement impact fee.

Wildwood’s tax-rate cut is in contrast to Sumter County’s proposed 25 percent increase, which county commissioners will vote on Tuesday after a 6 p.m. public hearing at the Savannah Center.

Both are driven by development of the Villages of Southern Oaks, but the responsibilities are different. The county is working to build a network of regional roads, including a $19.3 million extension of Buena Vista Boulevard that must be completed before homes are sold in those areas. Wildwood won’t be building roads but provides utility services either directly or through other entities.

Reducing debt will be a focus of next year’s Wildwood budget, which calls for paying off $1.3 million of the $11.1-million utility fund debt and $1.9 million of the $9 million general fund debt. It also would pay $1.2 million on a $6.5-million Citizens First Bank loan.

The budget cuts seven full-time police department positions, including deputy chief and a lieutenant. Some positions also will be eliminated due to the transfer of emergency dispatching to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. Positions will be added in public works, parks and recreation and development services.

A 2 percent cost-of-living raise will be given to all employees except the city manager, and health care costs are expected to rise by up to 8 percent.

Completion of the $7 million police station on the southwest corner of U.S. 301 and County Road 462 West is the largest capital project. Others are improvements at Lake Deaton, Millennium Park upgrades and a city hall annex.

At Monday’s meeting, Wildwood commissioners also approved several amendments and agreements that divides the Villages of Southern Oaks into two sectors for purposes of government oversight and allows permanent food trucks in newer areas.

The new agreements will permit 40,300 residential units, 4.3 million square feet of commercial/office space and 142,000 square feet of office/government space.

More Headlines

Competency evaluation ordered for Villager who threw fit over utility bill

A competency evaluation has been ordered for a Villager who threw a fit over his utility bill and was arrested at Lake Sumter Landing.

Villagers react to CDD 5’s decision to stop accepting anonymous complaints

Villagers are reacting to Community Development District 5’s decision last week to stop accepting anonymous complaints when it comes to deed compliance. We've heard from both sides.

Photos

Beautiful Sunrise On Lake Sumter

This beautiful sunrise accompanied a peaceful morning on Lake Sumter. Thanks to Ron Clark for sharing!

Always Put The Brake On Near The Pond

It's always a good idea to put the golf cart brake on near a pond. This unfortunate incident happened at the Riley Grove Course at the Palmer Legends Country Club. Thanks to Adi Sutarno for sharing!

Great Egret Strolling Through Backyard In The Village Of Hillsborough

This great egret was strolling through a backyard in the Village of Hillsborough. Thanks to David Guerra for sharing!

Letters to the Editor

Hot air from blowhards over Trump’s taxes

A Village of El Cortez resident tries to correct misinformation about President’s Trump’s taxes in a previous Letter to the Editor.

Business

$28.7 million Lake Sumter Apartment Homes now open to renters

Lake Sumter Apartment Homes, a $28.7 million affordable housing community consisting of 158 apartment homes, is now open to renters.

Crime

Competency evaluation ordered for Villager who threw fit over utility bill

A competency evaluation has been ordered for a Villager who threw a fit over his utility bill and was arrested at Lake Sumter Landing.

Opinions

Beat diabetes by getting fat out of your liver

Most Americans eat too much and exercise too little. That can have serious consequences. Dr. Gabe Mirkin has recommendations for leading a healthier life.

Top Stories

Thousands of golfers in The Villages on verge of losing ‘reasonable accommodation’

A new limit on “reasonable accommodation” has upset many golfers in The Villages.

Competency evaluation ordered for Villager who threw fit over utility bill

A competency evaluation has been ordered for a Villager who threw a fit over his utility bill and was arrested at Lake Sumter Landing.

Villagers react to CDD 5’s decision to stop accepting anonymous complaints

Villagers are reacting to Community Development District 5’s decision last week to stop accepting anonymous complaints when it comes to deed compliance. We've heard from both sides.

Letters to the Editor

Hot air from blowhards over Trump’s taxes

A Village of El Cortez resident tries to correct misinformation about President’s Trump’s taxes in a previous Letter to the Editor.

Ken Stoff’s maskless meeting attendance

A Villager, in a Letter to the Editor, is questioning why a public official was allowed to go maskless during a recent government meeting in The Villages.

A possible remedy for the anonymous complaint system

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of DeSoto resident offers an idea for remedying problems with the anonymous complaint system in The Villages.

Crime

Competency evaluation ordered for Villager who threw fit over utility bill

A competency evaluation has been ordered for a Villager who threw a fit over his utility bill and was arrested at Lake Sumter Landing.

Villager completes anger management course after drunken scuffle

A Villager has completed an anger management course after a drunken scuffle at a restaurant at Lake Sumter Landing.

Villager to perform community service after lovers’ quarrel at Brownwood

A Villager has been ordered to perform 40 hours community service after a lovers' quarrel at Brownwood Paddock Square.