AVON PARK - The City Council approved the final budget for 2013-14 and approved a large reduction to the property tax rate.
The city's property taxes have been cut two years in a row, from 5.89 mills in 2011-12 to 3.6 mills in 2012-13 to .3 mills for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.
City Manager Julian Deleon said the budget allocates $300,000 for improvements to the South Side Community and provides funding to acquire two more privately held utilities.
The budget allocates adequate funding to fix sidewalks, paving and street lighting, he said.
Also, the city council passed a resolution which will lower sanitation rates for the second consecutive year. Deleon noted that the sanitation fund currently has zero debt. It is strictly funded from revenues from services rendered.
Two years ago the residential rates were $20 per month, he noted. The new rate of $16 per month will take effect Oct. 1.
Also, the new fiscal year's budget includes the purchase of a new front-end commercial garbage truck to replace an older 2006 unit, Deleon said. It is a $220,000 investment in cash on this new piece of equipment.
Deleon noted that some expenditures have increased such as fuel and longevity employee wage increases, but the city has cut trash collection costs by starting the recycling program and by reclassifying the city's yard waste facility.