Florida Keys News - Key West Citizen
Saturday, June 15, 2013
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Good news on budget front

Monroe County commissioners will hold their first budget meeting of the year Tuesday and will discuss what Budget Director Tina Boan called the "think progress budget."

The meeting will include a discussion of expenditures and revenues for the upcoming 2013-14 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

With a stronger economy and increasing sales tax revenues and property values, the county will have more money coming in that it can put toward bigger capital improvement projects, Boan said.

"There a lot of things we will be able to do that really need to be done," Boan said.

A strong economy and low interest rates have County Administrator Roman Gastesi contemplating issuing bonds to pay for capital improvement projects, Gastesi said. The county already plans to bond $55 million for the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System. The county could issue bonds for other projects.

The county is looking at several high-profile capital projects, such as purchasing Rowell's Marina in Key Largo, renovating the Old Seven Mile Bridge and making upgrades to Bernstein Park on Stock Island and Higgs Beach Park in Key West.

Monroe County Property Appraiser Scott Russell released his estimates on county property values for 2013 earlier this month. The estimates showed increases in all areas except Layton.

The total value of property taxed by Monroe County government was $18.7 billion last year, and is estimated to be $19 billion this year, a nearly 2 percent increase, according to Russell.

The County Commission will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave., Key West.

tohara@keysnews.com

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