Winter Park’s 2020 budget reflects preparation for growth |

Winter Park’s 2020 budget reflects preparation for growth

The temporary public works facility is located off US Highway 40 while the old building is demolished and replaced.
Courtesy Town of Winter Park

In preparing the 2020 budget, Winter Park is planning for the town’s growth by investing in a new public works facility, more staff at town hall and an affordable housing project.

On Tuesday, the Winter Park Town Council heard the first reading of next year’s budget and discussed some of the changes compared to previous years. The biggest expense in the 2020 budget is a roughly $10 million public works facility.

“The fiscal year 20 proposed budget contains the construction of the proposed public works building, which is why capital projects is such a huge expense next year,” said Town Manager Keith Riesberg. 

The townwide 2020 summary expects $21.7 million in revenues while spending $34.6 million.

The town is financing the public works facility mostly through certificates of participation, which will increase the town’s debt service, Riesberg explained.

Other potential new expenses would be job positions for an assistant town manager, an assistant transit manager and an additional parks and trails employee, as well as an overall merit increase in salaries.

Equipment needs, the desire for an economic impact study and summer event security are also included in the budget.

Another project moving forward in 2020 is the Fireside Creek affordable housing development for which the town has $1.6 million in its housing fund.

Despite high expenses next year, Riesberg noted that revenues continue to trend up, with the town sales tax collection up 9% year-to-date, and feels confidently in the town’s financial status.

“We are very conservative on the revenue assumptions and we try to be all-inclusive in our expenditures side, which ensures we have the revenues to cover expenses and expenses often come in less than what we anticipated,” he said.

The council plans to adopt the budget formally at its regular meeting on Nov. 19.

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