City Approves Budget with $81.8 Million in Capital Investments

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On September 24th, 2020 the Panama City Beach Council approved the fiscal year 2020-21 budget, which includes $81.8 million in capital investments, four additional police officer positions, one additional fire inspector and a procurement specialist.

“The budget is balanced, prudent and responsive to the City Council’s Strategic Plan and community needs,” City Manager Tony O’Rourke told the Council. “The proposed FY 20-21 expenditures budget for all funds is $144,628,926. The capital investment represents 94 percent of the FY 20-21 budget increase.”

Major components of the budget include:
• $33.3 million in Front Beach Road Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) capital investment
• $37.4 million in water and wastewater capital investment
• $9 million in general fund capital investment including $6.8 million for Bay Parkway
• $1.8 million in stormwater capital improvements

After a September 1st budget workshop, City Council recommendations totaling $553,000 were incorporated into the budget. These included the addition of several new positions including a procurement officer to lead citywide purchasing; a third fire inspector so that all condos/properties can be inspected annually; and four police officer positions. The Council also added a part-time IT systems employee and agreed to fund an IT assessment study.
Other positions included in this budget include a biologist and GIS analyst in Utilities, and an additional street maintenance worker in Public Works.

The City has $1.5 million budgeted for street resurfacing.

Unassigned General Fund reserves for the next fiscal year, which begins October 1st and runs through Sept. 30th, 2021, are projected to be $9.7 million or 35 percent of recurring general fund expenditures, which exceeds the City Council’s Financial Management Policy that requires at least 25 percent ($7.1 million) be kept in reserve.

The Council has committed to fast-tracking the CRA by having several sections underway at one time and recently approved a bond issue which will provide $40 million to keep the project moving forward.