In FY98, one of the City's on-going cost saving efforts resulted in the relocation of the Central Services and Publications. The division was moved from an outdated, inconvenient, oversized facility to the Municipal Office building. The division is now more accessible to the majority of City employees utilizing their services.
The proposed budget includes sufficient funds for estimated employee step increases, as well as funds for labor agreements. The City is currently negotiating a renewal contract with the International Association of Firefighters.
The Tampa Comprehensive Plan, mandated in the Florida Growth Management Act, is intended to guide and control future growth and development. The Plan includes levels of service and plans for construction of infrastructure needed to accommodate development.
The City of Tampa and Hillsborough County have formed a partnership to participate in the Florida Sustainable Communities project.
The Sustainable Communities concept arose from the recommendations of the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida. That Commission established a strong partnership between state and local agencies and resulted in several positive recommendations to improve the quality of life in South Florida.
Based on this successful model, the Florida Legislature established a five-year demonstration project to explore new approaches to community planning. The Sustainable Communities demonstration project will further six broad principles of sustainability: restoring ecosystems; achieving a more clean, healthy environment; limiting urban sprawl; protecting wildlife and natural areas; advancing the efficient use of land and creating quality communities and jobs. During the next four years, the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County will focus on implementing a variety of initiatives designed to achieve these six broad principles.
In FY99, the City will continue to make deposits from property tax receipts into the Community Redevelopment Agency Trust Fund.
This deposit of $2.1 million, along with additional deposits from Hillsborough County; the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority; the Tampa Port Authority; and the Children's Board, will bring the FY99 Downtown Core and Non-Core districts deposit to $4.7 million. FY99 funds for the Core and Non-Core will be applied exclusively toward retirement of the Convention Center's bond debt.
The City, County and Port Authority will also contribute $365,997 to the Ybor City District. These funds will be used for Ybor City redevelopment programs.
Performing Arts Guaranteed Entitlement Bonds - $4.8 million from Guaranteed Entitlement Funds.
Convention Center - $13.6 million: $8.9 million from Utility Tax funds, and $4.7 million from FY99 Tax Increment Financing District funds.
General Utility Tax Bonds - $3.3 million from Utility Tax funds and sinking fund earnings.
Florida Aquarium Occupational License Tax Bonds - $6.2 million from Occupational License Tax fees, sinking fund earnings and prior year carryover.
Amounts budgeted in the contingency reserve for unanticipated expenses and for such emergencies as floods or hurricanes during FY99 include:
Due to concern regarding under collection of State and local revenues, a $1.7 million revenue reserve continues to be budgeted for potential revenue shortfalls.
This budget includes transfers of $1 million to the Fund Balance accounts of the General Fund and Utility Tax Fund, in accordance with the external auditor's recommendation that the City maintain the current level of Fund Balance in the Tax Operating Funds.