Monday, September 17, 2012

Palmetto Bay Budget review. Capital Expenditure issue: Palmetto Bay wants to build a downtown - Palmetto Bay -

Palmetto Bay wants to build a downtown - Palmetto Bay -

I reviewed the current proposed 2012-13 Operating & Capital Budget online (CLICK HERE) to view this 119 page document)  and I have to ask what is up with the Palmetto Bay parking garage championed by Mayor Stanczyk in the April 12, 2012, Miami Herald article “Palmetto Bay wants to build a downtown” by Howard Cohen.  Meetings were held and  significant monies were spent on feasibility studies.  Mayor Stanczyk was quoted as saying: “I’m very excited because three years ago I authored an ordinance to allow for a parking garage,” said Mayor Shelley Stanczyk, who referred to the garage in the article as “a smart growth opportunity” for the potential draw it brings to the surrounding neighborhood once retail is established and the garage is linked to the county’s mass transit system.

Village staff had released the results of a feasibility study and discussed them at a public workshop.  The report listed a baseline projection annual income of $903,950 in parking revenue, which would top expenses by nearly $200,000.

There appears to be no provision for financing for this much needed economic draw.  Has this projected been quietly killed, outside the Sunshine of a public meeting, or is it being ignored due to a multitude of distractions going on.  The Village residents have a right to know the status of proposed projects, including the status of this (as stated by Mayor Stanczyk) ‘smart growth opportunity for the village.’

False starts and missed opportunities are budget killers. This council is dipping into reserves to pay for recurring expenses, which is a big "no, no."  It is also important to note that this was a council determined expenditure, they added staff not requested by either the manager or the Village Police Commander, incurring the cost without making cuts elsewhere to balance this new expense,  

It is time to release the actual dollar costs to the taxpayers for each of these projects that do not reach fruition. Costs include more than just the obvious costs, the costs of the experts, feasibility studies, (garage page 2, Thalatta Estate on page 74), but also the less obvious costs to the taxpayers of staff/legal expense incurred.Their time is valuable and as the saying goes, 'there are only so many hours in a day' so what projects don't they have time to reach? Perhaps the Fire Stations issue that appears to have been so long neglected by this current council?

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