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MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF FORT PIERCE, FLORIDA, HELD IN THE CITY HALL COMMISSION CHAMBERS, 100 NORTH U.S. #1, FORT PIERCE, FLORIDA, AT 5:05 P.M. ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2020.
             
1. CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Hudson called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m.
             
2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
             
3. ROLL CALL
Present: Mayor Linda Hudson; Commissioner Jeremiah Johnson; Commissioner Reginald Sessions
Absent: Commissioner Rufus Alexander; Commissioner Thomas Perona
Staff Present: City Clerk Linda Cox
City Manager Nicholas Mimms
City Attorney Peter Sweeney
             
4. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC ON AGENDA ITEMS NOT REQUIRING PUBLIC HEARINGS

Any person who wishes to comment on an agenda item which is not under Public Hearings on the Agenda may be heard at this time and must sign up to speak in advance. Please limit your comments to three (3) minutes or less, as directed by the Mayor, as this section of the Agenda is limited to thirty minutes. The City Commission will not be able to take any official actions under Comments from the Public. Speakers will address the Mayor, Commissioners, and the Public with respect. Inappropriate language will not be tolerated.

There was no public comment.
             
5. NEW BUSINESS
             
a. Mayor to announce the tentative millage rate which is 6.9; the millage rate exceeds the roll-back rate (6.5210), by 5.81%.
  Mayor Hudson announced  the millage rate at 6.9 which exceeds the roll-back rate of 6.5210 by 5.81%.
             
b. Overview of the proposed budget - Johnna Morris, Finance Director
  Ms. Johnna Morris, Finance Director, provided an overview of the City's Proposed FY2021 budget.   The balanced budget is $43,323,874 which is a $893,902 increase from FY2020.   The taxable property values within the City is $2,718,065,331 which is a 6.1% increase.   Ms. Morris explained that because the Florida Constitution was amended in 1995, the increase of assessed value of homesteaded properties within the City is limited to 3% or the change in consumer price index, whichever is lower.   In 2020, the CIP is 2.3%.  Ms. Morris provided examples of the annual increase property owners will see based upon the increase in value.

Ms. Morris provided a slide showing a 13 year history taxable values, millage rate, amount of budget based upon taxable values, and the total budget.  The slide shows that the taxable values in 2020/21 have not yet reached the taxable values from 2008/09.   The budget has increased since that time, but we must remember that the costs of our contracts and everything we must purchase is substantially higher than it was in 2008.  Additionally, we still have 60 fewer employees than we did in 2008.

While we are seeing an increase in ad valorem revenue, overall, we have decreased most other revenue categories based upon current conditions.  We did maintain $600,000 in restricted revenue for capital expenditures.  All departmental operating budgets have been reduce to mitigate the impact of the anticipated revenue losses.   The budget does include $451,288 for sworn officers for their cost of living increases and placing them in their proper steps.   There will be no cost of living increases for bargaining and non-bargaining employees.   Nine existing positions were unfunded and the hiring freeze remains in place.  There is a slight increase in the retirement contribution rate and health insurance, but dental insurance saw a decrease of 8%.   We have $2,125,000 budgeted for capital projects and our debt service cost increased by $321,692 as a result of less interest and more principal being paid.
             
6. PUBLIC HEARING
             
a. Public Hearing on Tentative Millage Rate and Proposed 2020-21 General Fund Budget for the City of Fort Pierce
  Mayor Hudson opened the public hearing on the proposed FY2020-21 General Fund Budget.   Seeing no one, she closed the public hearing.
             
b. Consider any proposed amendments to the 2020-21 General Fund Budget
  Commissioner Sessions indicated that he had talked with City Engineer, Jack Andrews, about a grant for the reconstruction of 13th Street which is estimated to cost $9 million dollars.  In order to be eligible for consideration, the project must be shovel ready.  According to his conversation with Mr. Andrews, we need approximately $90,000.00 for additional planning and design to bring the plans up to current code.   After discussion, it was determined that an amendment to the budget was not necessary, and that transportation impact fee funds could be used to bring the plans up to current codes.  All present agreed that allocating the $90,000 was a great idea and that Ms. Morris would earmark those funds accordingly.
             
c. Adopt the proposed Millage Rate and recompute if necessary.   The proposed millage rate is 6.90.
  Mayor Hudson indicated that since there were no amendments to the budget, there is no need to recompute the millage rate.
  Motion was made by Commissioner Jeremiah Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Reginald Sessions to adopt the millage rate at 6.9.
 
AYE: Mayor Linda Hudson, Commissioner Jeremiah Johnson, Commissioner Reginald Sessions
Passed
             
d. Adoption of tentative 2020-21 General Fund Budget.
  Motion was made by Commissioner Reginald Sessions, seconded by Commissioner Jeremiah Johnson to adopt the proposed FY2020-21 budget.
 
AYE: Mayor Linda Hudson, Commissioner Jeremiah Johnson, Commissioner Reginald Sessions
Passed
             
7. CITY COMMISSION
             
a. Ranking of applicants for consideration for appointment to the Fort Pierce Utilities Board filling an at-large position.
  Because Commissioners Alexander and Perona were absent and this is a very important appointment, it was suggested that this matter be postponed.
  Motion was made by Commissioner Jeremiah Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Reginald Sessions to postpone this item to September 21.
 
AYE: Mayor Linda Hudson, Commissioner Jeremiah Johnson, Commissioner Reginald Sessions
Passed
  The Commissioner's present agreed that a future special meeting was acceptable in an effort to conduct interviews of the candidates.
             
8. COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Any person who wishes to comment on any subject may be heard at this time. Please limit your comments to three (3) minutes or less, as directed by the Mayor, as this section of the Agenda is limited to fifteen minutes. The City Commission will not be able to take any official actions under Comments from the Public. Speakers will address the Mayor, Commissioners, and the Public with respect. Inappropriate language will not be tolerated.
  There were no comments.
             
9. ANNOUNCEMENT
             
9. ADJOURNMENT

Immediately following adjournment, please move toward the doors and exit the chambers. This allows for the safe and courteous exit of all persons, and those on the dais. Conversations after the meeting should be held outside of chambers, in the foyer or elsewhere, but not in the commission chambers where lights will be out as soon as the chambers are empty.
  Mayor Hudson adjourned the meeting at 6:02 p.m.
             
a. The second public hearing and first reading of the budget ordinances will be held at a special meeting of the City Commission on Monday, September 21, 2020 at 5:05 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers, City Hall, 100 N US Highway 1, Fort Pierce, Florida. The Second Reading of the budget ordinances will be held on Monday, September 28, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
ATTEST:

____________________________ _________________________________
CITY CLERK
MAYOR COMMISSIONER

    

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