Capital projects, new positions and just a small hike in property taxes are what will be discussed during Wednesday night’s first of two Village of Key Biscayne budget hearings.
The hearing begins at 6 p.m., while the second hearing is set for Sept. 21. The public can provide their opinions at the meetings, seen live on Ch. 77 or on the Village's website.
Raising the millage rate to 3.2188, “about a half-percent more” than the current Fiscal Year, is the proposal on the table, said Chief Financial Officer Benjamin Nussbaum, adding that “it’s been known to change.”
Village Manager Steve Williamson will introduce the $35 million budget plan, which, if adopted, would raise city taxes slightly above 1 percent.
City taxes only represent “about 20%” of residents’ total annual tax bill, Nussbaum said.
Among the new positions would be:
- four part-time park rangers
- two police officers;
- a public works superintendent
- a code compliance officer
- a part-time permit clerk
- an administrative assistant/records technician
- a fire prevention inspector
- a municipal planning director
- and a new program coordinator (under the Parks & Recreation umbrella) to handle some of the responsibilities previously handled by the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, which will be breaking its ties with the village next month.
With consolidations, trimming and additions, the total number of city employees would be 200 (up from 192), including 139 full-time roles.
Among the capital projects being considered:
- $500,000 for bike and pedestrian improvements on Crandon Boulevard
- a little more than a half-million dollars for Beach Park improvements
- nearly a half-million more for lightning and a new roof at the Community Center
- $60,000 for electric vehicle charging stations
- $1.5 million for stormwater improvements in the area of the K-8 Center.
Also in the mix would be resiliency projects; the beginning of underground power lines; the replacement of aging city vehicles; repair and renovations to Village Hall and other city buildings; and $48,500 for 15 additional buoys to demarcate the vessel exclusion area to keep swimmers and windsurfers safe, a hot topic this summer.
Popular community projects such as piano concerts, the auto show (which will coincide with the Miami GP), and the July 4 festivities also are part of the budget package.