Indian Trail Budget For Upcoming Year Focuses On Operations And Maintenance

The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors.

Indian Trail Improvement District Executive Director Burgess Hanson presented the proposed budget for fiscal year 2020-21 at a public hearing on Tuesday, June 30 following a workshop with the ITID Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, June 24.

The total expenditures for the operating budget has decreased to $13,915,624 from $17,525,139 during the current fiscal year due to the removal of allocated funds for both the M-1 Canal inverted siphon at $1 million as part of the county’s expansion of 60th Street North and the R2 roadway repaving project at $2.75 million.

“The fiscal year 2020-21 budget serves as a staff blueprint to estimate the necessary funding for personnel, equipment, projects and materials to meet the policy, directives and priorities set by the board of supervisors on behalf of the property owners and citizens of the Indian Trail Improvement District,” Hanson said. “Overall, we will be doing a fund assessment that will remain flat for most of the property owners in this upcoming fiscal year.”

The proposed budget shows a slight increase in administration at $2.6 million due to engineering and legal fees, as well as information technology projects being proposed, he said. Parks will have a slight decrease to $3.3 million as a result of cost-cutting measures recommended by the new parks director.

The parks budget includes about $85,000 for park improvements, mostly for playground equipment upgrades at Temple Park. Hanson added that the new parks director has indicated that she feels she can get matching grants for park capital improvements.

Operations and maintenance takes up the biggest part of the budget at almost $8.2 million, with almost a half-million dollar increase for new equipment. Stormwater and aquatics comes in at almost $1.8 million.

Hanson said the biggest part of increases throughout the budget is a proposed 4 percent merit increase for outstanding employees that was approved by the board, which could be as high as $125,000.

“It is based solely on the performance of the employees, and most employees will fall in that 2 to 3 percent range for merit increases,” he said, adding that employees who are at the maximum rate for their pay grade would not get merit increases.

A 10 percent increase in general liability and property insurance rates is anticipated in 2021 as a result of a new contract, but the new company has promised no increase in the second year of the contract, Hanson noted.

Another increase will come from the installation of traffic calming recommended by Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

“We have not determined what the features would be or what the locations will be,” Hanson said. “That is something that the board will be able to authorize at a later meeting once they adopt the plan and prioritize which roadways are most in need of traffic calming. To start the program, we have set aside $250,000.”

In his budget message, Hanson wrote that 2020 began with tough challenges and an unanticipated global event.

“Yet, the Indian Trail Improvement District has endured and continues its momentum of several large projects and goals,” he wrote. “While we function like a special district, the constituency has adopted the perception that we are more than simply drainage, roads and parks. While [County] Commissioner Melissa McKinlay has been staunch in her advocacy of the district, she is only one vote. There are many external challenges that will impact our road network and, ultimately, our quality of life. The fiscal year 2021 budget recommendation is the first step toward addressing this top priority.”