Bluffs Begins Talks on Sparse 2011 Budget
By Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Although city officials are expecting a real drop of 9 percent in ad valorem revenue, the City Commission decided Monday night to predicate that income with an 11 percent drop to provide some elbow room.
"That way," Mayor Chris Arbutine said, "if something unexpected comes up, we have some maneuvering room financially."
Ad valorem revenue - that is, property tax - accounts for about half the budget so instead of anticipating a full 9 percent cut in spending any reductions would be less than that.
By estimating income at 11 percent less than last year, Arbutine and the commission feel they will be able to construct a budget for fiscal year 2011 without drastic cutbacks.
"But we are still going to have to concentrate on necessary spending only," Arbutine warned.
The commission had very little else on its agenda other than the preliminary budget discussion and reports from departments.
Bob Russo, a former long-time member of the commission, was appointed to the Fire Pension Board.
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