Palm Coast City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2023 Budget
Thursday September, 22 2022
The Palm Coast City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2023 budget at the final Budget Hearing on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
The Palm Coast City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2023 budget at the final Budget Hearing on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, with a 4-to-1 vote in favor of the budget proposed by City staff. The FY 2023 Adopted Budget, shaped through City Council and the Strategic Action Plan process, prioritizes levels of service for residents, implements new forward-thinking initiatives that promote safety, health, and quality of life, and makes investments in the City’s infrastructure.
“I am grateful to our City Council for outlining the vision for the future and providing the tools to get us there,” said City Manager Denise Bevan. “This is a balanced budget and will continue to provide the services our residents expect while focusing on infrastructure maintenance and future planning needs of a healthy growing community. I am so proud of our City team who provides incredible quality of life for our residents.”
The adopted budget maintains the same millage rate as 2022 of 4.6100 mils. Due to a healthy rise in property values throughout the state, this results in the appearance of a 15% tax increase from the rollback rate for residents and businesses. However, the vast majority of property owners in the city will not see a tax increase of more than 3 percent and commercial properties will not see a tax increase of more than 10 percent. In 2021, City Council reduced the millage rate halfway to the rollback rate, going from 4.6989 mills to 4.6100 mills, where it stands today.
The City does not regulate the assessment value of a property, as that is set by State law. The Property Appraiser follows the regulations established by the State Statute to appraise each property. While the City passes a millage rate that results in a portion of the taxes assessed on the property, the Property Appraiser determines the value of the property and any exemptions that may apply. More information is available by visiting the Flagler County Property Appraiser’s website at: https://qpublic.net/fl/flagler/
“The budget adopted by our City Council is responsible and allows for advancement of progressive initiatives that will further support the safety, health, and wellbeing of our community,” said Mayor David Alfin.
The FY 2023 Budget is $328 million. Included in that amount is the General Fund Budget at $52.7 million. The budget was created around three focus areas: Data-driven metrics, succession planning, and safe and reliable services.
Palm Coast is a full-service city and prides itself on providing a variety of resources and services to the community, including economic development, public safety and emergency medical response, robust parks and recreation programs and facilities, utility and stormwater services, and infrastructure maintenance and improvements. The Adopted Budget maintains these services at the FY 22 level, and also makes new strategic investments into other service areas while utilizing resources in a fiscally prudent way.
The City is committed to providing safe and reliable services for all Palm Coast residents and continues to pursue innovations and collaborative approaches toward this goal. New items in the Adopted Budget to support community safety include:
- Fulfilling the Flagler County Sheriff’s request for five additional deputies to serve the City of Palm Coast, as well as a contracted 5% increase to the Sheriff’s budget.
- Approval of two additional Firefighter/EMTs for the Palm Coast Fire Department and one Fire Inspector.
- Adding two Equipment Operators to the Public Works Department to focus on street maintenance to keep City roads in working order.
Business Attraction and Economic Development
Supporting Palm Coast businesses and promoting economic development is a key part of the City’s strategy for growing its revenue base. The Adopted Budget has new investments to support economic development, including:
- Branding Palm Coast as a regional destination for health care training complemented by research and technology innovation.
- Conceptualizing a Master Plan for the Matanzas Parkway extension westward.
- Delivering a youth sports activity center feasibility study.
- Collaborating with stakeholders and legislative team on Phase II and III of the Old Kings Road widening project in the FDOT 5-year work plan.
Infrastructure and Maintenance Investments
Investing and prioritizing infrastructure and maintenance needs remain a critical part of the City’s efforts to maximize current resources for ongoing future benefits, including:
- Conducting a comprehensive Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR) analysis to update the planning horizon to 2045 to guide future growth.
- Additional staffing for water and wastewater services to include water distribution, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, and additional functions.
- Construction of Maintenance Operations Center to house Public Works, Stormwater & Engineering, Utility and Customer Service in a centralized and structurally sound facility.
- Assessing conditions of saltwater canals and outlining a plan for maintenance.
New fleet vehicles are also necessary to successfully meet service levels. New equipment needs for the fiscal year 2023 equate to 26 vehicles valued at $1.6 million. These assets include a $615,000 VacCon truck used for utility and stormwater projects and a $183,000 dump truck needed by Utility Department.
The City of Palm Coast has a robust fleet replacement program to ensure vehicles driven by City staff are safe to operate. Through this year’s budget process, 181 assets nearing end-of-life were evaluated. It was determined that 43 of those assets absolutely must be replaced to ensure mission critical services are not impacted. These assets were valued at $4.8 million, of which $1.5 million are for Fire Department assets.
Additionally, $2.5 million worth of fleet items budgeted and approved in the current budget that closes on September 30, 2022, were not delivered due to current market conditions. Those budgeted dollars are carrying over to the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. The total fleet owned and operated by the City of Palm Coast contains over 650 assets.
The Adopted Budget also takes into consideration resident feedback garnered through various community engagement opportunities throughout the budget development and review process. The budget process for the City of Palm Coast launches during the summer months when special budget workshops are conducted on the fourth Tuesday of the month focused solely on the next year’s budget. Palm Coast residents have the opportunity to provide feedback throughout the budget process by sharing public comments during the budget workshops or at any City Council meeting. Community members are also able to provide input by completing a Comment Card at these meetings allowing City staff to respond individually to resident feedback. The customer service portal at PalmCoast.gov/Connect is also available to residents around the clock for
For more information about the budget or to access all budget documents, please visit the Budget Preparation webpage.
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Brittany KershawDirector of Communications & Marketing