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Plant City Observer Thursday, Sep. 6, 2018 2 months ago

Following the money

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The 2018-2018 fiscal budget will be discussed in upcoming public hearings with plans to be approved on Sept. 24.
by: Breanne Williams Staff Writer

The upcoming city commission meeting will be full of public hearings as the city enters the final round of budget discussions.

The meeting is Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall and the public will have the opportunity to let commissioners know their thoughts on the proposed budget. The budget should be finalized in a vote on the second commission meeting of the month on Sept. 24.

Funding to organizations like the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and the EDC of Plant City will all be finalized during these conversations.

The city plans to give the Chamber $65,000, the Boys and Girls Club of Plant City $20,000, the Railroad Museum Society $25,000, the 1914 Building $50,000, Plant City Art Council $6,000 and $2,000 each to Black Heritage Celebration, Improvement League of Plant City and the Christmas Parade.

The city’s proposed budget will allot $125,000 for the Plant City Economic Development Corporation and $25,000 is set aside for the annual investment fee to the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.

Over the past month, commissioners have voiced their interest in possibly reevaluating the budget to include a conversation about the future of either State Road 39 South or the land surrounding Alexander Street north of I-4. In prior conversations, Mayor Rick Lott and Vice Mayor Nate Kilton said the city should consider finding the perfect location for a “new County Line Road.”

While this decision may not be included in the proposed budget, there has been talk to possibly amend it later on down the road if the commissioners feel it is time to address the growing question of the next step for the city.

Commissioner Mary Mathis also inquired as to the cost of adding health insurance options for commissioners, which should be discussed at the upcoming hearing. If approved it would cost the city approximately $8,000 per commissioner per year for an individual rate and a family rate would be higher.

If approved on Sept. 24, the new budget will go into effect on Oct. 1.

A public hearing is set for Sept. 10 to discuss the rezoning of approximately 162 acres located on W. Johnson Road. If approved, the rezoning will change the land from a Hillsborough County agriculture single-family district to a residential single-family dwelling district. 

The site has frontage on W. Johnson Road, Sam Astin Road and W. Trapnell Road and is owned by the Astin family. The eight parcels of land were annexed into the city limits on March 26 and the future land use was amended to Plant City Residential-4 by commissioners on June 11. 

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