As stated at the final assessment hearing, if the city of Punta Gorda is provided with conclusive information regarding condominium parcels (units) that should be charged for water access units based on their exclusive use of the common element water access unit in regard to the Buckley’s Pass Assessment Area, there may be an opportunity to reassign the apportioned water access units. Condominium association representatives must contact the City Manager’s office at 941-575-3302 prior to April 19 to schedule a meeting with staff.

Seawall RestorationFlorida Department of Emergency Management transmitted to the city our first reimbursement in the amount of $6,389,011 for seawall restoration related to Hurricane Irma. These monies represent FEMA (75 percent) and state (12.5 percent) share of the costs for the project. We anticipate further reimbursements in the coming months, and thank our federal and state representatives for assistance in getting the reimbursement process moving forward.

PicklePlexProgress continues at the PicklePlex facility being built at Florida South Western State College. The complex will provide outdoor facilities focusing on exercise and competition. Emphasis will also be placed on educating youth and the underprivileged on the merits of sports activities and fitness.

Business SurveyDover, Kohl and Partners are seeking business owner input for the citywide Master Plan. If you own a business please take the brief survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2LTHSZM.

Sales TaxThe City Council will discuss the formation of a committee to discuss and vet projects for placement on the primary or general election 2020 ballot. The 1 percent local option sales tax is a discretionary sales tax which must be approved by voters of Charlotte County. Money raised by the tax can be used:

To finance, plan or construct infrastructure;

To acquire land for public recreation, conservation or protection of natural resources;

To provide loans, grants or rebates for residential or commercial energy efficient improvements; and for economic development projects (up to 15 percent).

Budget AlternativesThe City Council will consider budget alternatives for 2020 at today’s meeting. This includes the general fund, information technology, general construction and 1 percent local options sales tax allocations.

At the Feb. 6 City Council meeting, staff presented the FY 2019-2023 Long Range Financial Plan, which provided multi-year fiscal forecasts for the city’s major fund groups. In addition, an initial set of budget issues were identified that would be considered during the upcoming process to develop a FY 2020 financial plan.

On March 28, the city held a community conversation in which attendees provided their thoughts and suggestions on City services. This information was included in the April 5 weekly report. Over the past three months, staff has analyzed revenues and expenditures and put forth an initial FY 2020 general fund budget proposal.

The city manager is recommending City Council not enact any service level reductions based on feedback received from the general community and a desire to at the minimum retain current service levels. City staffing and operations are already lean due to previous years’ reductions and efficiencies. More information about this agenda item can be viewed in the agenda packet at www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/government/city-clerk/agendas-minutes.

Howard Kunik is the Punta Gorda city manager. His column appears Wednesdays. Readers may reach him at HKunik@ci.punta-gorda.fl.us.

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