Budgets finalized next week

Published: Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 12:22 PM.

Governing bodies will begin the process of finalizing budgets next week with public hearings.

The Gulf County School Board will hold its final budget hearing Monday followed in successive days by the Board of County Commissioners and the city of Port St. Joe.

Each hearing begins at 5:01 p.m. ET.

Port St. Joe city commissioners examined their proposed balanced budget last week while receiving final numbers for employee health insurance.

The city will maintain the same millage rate of nearly six years, 3,5914, seeing an uptick in revenue of roughly $2,500 due to a slight increase in property values.

The city budget also includes a 3.5 percent increase in utility rates which will take effect next month.

This the fourth year in a five-year program of raising utility rates. The rates, which emerged from a rate study, are linked to the city’s long-term debt which was significantly bumped by construction of a new water plant and citywide improvements to the water distribution system.

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