Town of Palm Beach News

Time For The Town of Palm Beach To Save Money

The Town of Palm Beach has finalized the $80.5 million budget plan for the fiscal year already in effect, but it still has its work cut out as they continue to review areas for departmental spending cuts.

In the coming year, a comprehensive review of town operations will be conducted by department managers, as proposed by Town Manager Tom Bradford in response to the Council’s request for budget cuts. Bradford stated, “I fully understand the severity of what we need to do.” Describing the budget as “a balancing act” in an effort to meet the needs of both the taxpayers and the town.

The approved budget for the year has increased by $3.7 million from the prior year, and was passed in a 3-2 vote. A 3.3 percent tax hike passed by a similar voting decision, with Council Members Julie Araskog and Bobbie Lindsay in the opposing minority. Council Member Lindsay placed focus on priority spending, as a reminder of the financial obligations the Town has to the pension program, and the sacrifices needed in order to meet the commitment; an annual payment of $5.4 million to fund a projected $110 million short-fall. Council Member Araskog suggested areas in which to limit or eliminate spending, such as capital projects and employee salary raises.

Time For The Town of Palm Beach To Save Money

In November, Bradford will provide the Council with a detailed outline, and timeline for completion of the review, with the majority of the legwork being a responsibility that falls squarely on the shoulders of the Town Staff. They will be looking to achieve the same goals, using less resources. According to Bradford, “Staff will complete a comprehensive review of operations and estimate the impact of each alternative.” He stated the review will include consideration for increases in fees for services and penalties for residents.

Related>>>Expected 4,000,000 Budget Increase For The Town Of Palm Beach

It has been ten years since the Town’s last comprehensive review, which was a four-month process. Bradford hopes to reach completion in three months, to present to Council by February 2018. In the future, Bradford says he would like to get the Council involved earlier in the budget process.

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