Winter Springs passed its first reading of its new millage rate, voting to keep it even at 2.41 mills and also voted unanimously to pass its proposed 2023 budget on Monday, with one big change.
“During what certainly appears to be inflationary times, and other communities are raising their millage rates to make ends meet here in Seminole County, we’ve been able to hold strong and continue with the funds that we have and live within our means,” Mayor Kevin McCann said.
The millage rate means that for every $1,000 of taxable value on a property in the city, the city will receive $2.41 of taxes from the property per year.
Of the city’s $58.7 million budget, which the City Commission votes on each September, $3.4 million will be committed to repairing, replacing and improving roads and bridges. $2.9 million will go to parks. For a more in-depth view of the budget breakdown, read OCN’s previous budget story.
There is one big change: The city received the $9.3 million it expected from the American Recovery Plan Act funding earlier than expected in August, which caused a change in next year’s proposed budget. The ARPA funds will be rolled into an amended budget for 2022.
Though the vote for the millage rate, which is the city’s portion of residents’ overall property taxes, was a quick vote, the budget found a sticking point when Deputy Mayor Kevin Cannon said he wanted the city to move forward on getting body cameras for police officers before he’d vote yes.
“I’m not going to vote for the budget unless we have some definitive commitment, a definitive plan and a definitive commitment in the budget for the next fiscal year,” Cannon said.
The mayor said he’d already spoken with congressional candidate Cory Mills to see if he could bring federal dollars to help pay for a police camera system in the near future, if he were to win office in November
The city is still in the process of requesting bids from camera companies, City Manager Shawn Boyle said. Proposals are expected to be reviewed later this week.
“If anyone out there hasn’t noticed, the demeanor of this Commission is to never kick the can down the road ever again, and so something will be done about these cameras,” Commissioner Rob Elliott said.
Both the millage rate and budget were passed on first reading unanimously. An update to the budget, which will require a second reading and opportunity for public comment, will be discussed on Sept. 26. That meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Winter Springs City Hall, 1126 E. State Road 434 in Winter Springs.
Listen to the meeting here