City adopts tentative millage and budget

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By Kellie Parkin

After nearly two months of budget workshops – some contentious, some congenial – Cedar Key commissioners adopted a tentative millage and $1.4 million budget this week.

With approximately $200,000 cut from last year’s operating budget, commissioners decided they would not need to raise the millage. It will remain the same – 3.1355.

“And that’s no raise in taxes,” said Commissioner Gene Hodges. “That’s exactly what it was last year.”

Not all commissioners were satisfied with the decision. Heath Davis, who voted against the motion, said that keeping the millage the same will bring in about $130,000 less this year than last because of the decline in property values.

The $200,000 is not enough for Davis; he wants more cuts to the budget. “We have decreased our itemized costs, but we have increased our recurring costs.”

Commissioner Pat O’Neal also expressed concern for retaining the same the millage rate. “I’m not in favor of the 3.1355 – It’s living on the edge. I’d prefer 3.25.” He said. “I think it’s potential for disaster. I hope I’m proved wrong.” O’Neal voted no to the millage rate and yes to the budget.

The operating budget for fiscal year 2009-10 is $1,404,845. The new year begins Oct. 1.

Monday night’s meeting was the first of two public hearings slated for this month.

The commission will meet Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. for the second and final public hearing to fully adopt the resolutions.