The Clewiston News

City adopts tentative millage rate

Commissioners debated whether or not to approve a lower tentative millage rate than that sent to the property appraiser.

The Clewiston City Commission adopted the city’s tentative millage rate and budget at a public hearing held Thursday, Sept. 17.

The TRIM notice sent to the property appraiser’s office in July was set at 6.1957 mills. But with an increase in East Hendry County Recreation funding by the county, Finance Director Ted Byrd was able to reduce the proposed millage rate set before the commission Thursday night from 6.1957 mills to 6.0314 mills.

Commissioners had mixed responses to the reduced millage rate.

Commissioner Sherida Ridgdill, concerned with the water leaking into city hall during Thursday’s torrential downpour, proposed the commission adopt the original tentative rate of 6.1957 mills. The lower rate also depended upon the new funding for the East County Rec Agreement which had not yet been approved by the commission. It was up for vote during Monday night’s regular meeting.

Commissioner Julio Rodriguez proposed the commission accept the lower rate and find areas in the budget to cut to pay for maintenance needed in the city buildings.

Byrd reminded commissioners that if they adopted the higher rate, they could still reduce it at the final budget hearing on Sept. 28. If they adopted the lower rate, they could not raise it at the final hearing.

Commissioner Kristine Petersen made a motion to adopt the tentative millage of 6.1957 mills, which was approved with a 3-1 vote. Commissioner Rodriguez voted against the motion and Commissioner Mali Gardner was not present to vote.

Commissioners also voted to adopt a proposed budget for the city of Clewiston of $24,690,351 for fiscal year 2015/16.

The final budget hearing will be held at Clewiston City Hall on Sept. 28 at 5 p.m.