Lox Groves Council To Finalize Budget At Sept. 19 Meeting

The Loxahatchee Groves Town Council gave preliminary approval to a $10.8 million spending plan for fiscal year 2024 on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Final approval and adoption of the budget is slated for the council’s meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The meeting started with a detailed budget presentation by Finance Director Chris Wallace of Munilytics, which took into account council input from a number of different budget workshops.

The total budget, up from $9.2 million in fiscal year 2023, includes $4.2 million in the General Fund and $2.6 million in the Capital Projects Fund. Most of the rest accounts for transfers from one fund to another.

The key budget priorities maintain the same level of staffing as in prior years, plus the conversion of the town’s code contract to two staff positions.

As for capital projects, the focus is on four key areas: continue the road overlay and road rock programs; swales, catch basins and culvert replacements; improvements to control structures, gates, weirs and pump stations; and canal restoration/bank stabilization.

The budget includes several pages of proposed capital projects, but the council is still discussing the final list, although the $2.6 million figure for the total money to be spent on capital projects was approved unanimously.

A motion to approve the non-ad valorem assessment rate of $200 per unit, budgets and assessment rolls for roads and drainage in the dependent Loxahatchee Groves Water Control District was approved 3-2 with Mayor Laura Danowski and Vice Mayor Robert Shorr opposed.

When it came to adopting the solid waste assessment, Shorr once again asked to lower the rate to $350, but his motion failed for lack of a second. A motion to set the rate at $400, the same as the current year, passed 4-1.

The tentative millage rate of 3.0 mills, unchanged from the current year, and the tentative budget passed unanimously.