The City Commission of the City of Panama City voted unanimously to lower the City’s millage rate to 4.9999 mills, a decrease of 4.54% under the current aggregate rolled-back rate of 5.2942. The current rate is 5.5469.
“The decision to lower the millage rate demonstrates the City’s commitment to drive ad valorem rates down," said Mayor Greg Brudnicki. "The City’s budget is one which builds on the City’s desire to rebuild after Hurricane Michael and leveraging Federal and State grants to the fullest."
Additionally, the Mayor and Commissioners adopted the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget for the City, which includes funding for the purchase of body cameras for the Panama City Police Department, two employees to maintain the video data from body cameras, and equipment needed to increase maintenance of the City’s right-of-ways and ditches.
The Commission also voted to maintain the millage rate for the Panama City Downtown Improvement District (DIB) at 3.0000.
The City’s budget does not include funding for Capital Projects because the City anticipates receiving a State Revolving Fund Loan for replacement of key and vital infrastructure as well as receiving additional grants and funding as a result of Hurricane Michael.
State Revolving Loan
The City has received tentative approval for a State Revolving Fund Loan of $81 Million to replace water and sewer infrastructure in the City. The loan has provisions to forgive $20 million. The remaining balance must be paid back over 20 years at near 0% interest. We anticipate the funding being available in November and will begin the engineering phase of work
Community Disaster Block Grant for Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently approved the state of Florida’s Action Plan for more than $735 million in funding for long-term recovery efforts for Hurricane Michael-impacted communities. The funds are allocated through HUD’s CDBG-DR program and come from the $1.9 billion appropriation made by Congress.
The funding can be used for low-to-moderate housing, infrastructure to support low-to-moderate areas and economic revitalization. About 60% of the City is considered a low-to-moderate area.
The City has submitted five grant requests, including a $35 million request to replace key and vital infrastructure. The other projects are for economic development and quality of life projects. We anticipate receiving an answer regarding approvals by the end of the year.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
The City has submitted two grant requests to the State. One is $25 million in funding to replace the City’s 12 most critical lift stations. The City would have a 25% match of $6 million. The second is $18 million in funding to improve the City’s stormwater management system. The City would have a $6 million match. The state is currently reviewing the requests.
The City Commission set the City’s Tentative Millage rate for Fiscal Year 2021 at 5.5469 (current rate). The proposed rate was 6.6201. The Mayor and Commissioners also set the Downtown Improvement Board’s (DIB) Tentative Millage rate at 3.0000. The proposed rate was 3.0000.
The Second Public Hearing for the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget and Millage rate for the City and Downtown Improvement Board will be held in conjunction with the Commission Meeting on September 21, 2020 at 5:01 p.m. The City Commission will set the millage rates and adopt the budgets immediately following the Public Hearing. The Mayor and Commissioners could vote to lower the millage rate below the tentative millage rate but cannot raise it any higher.
The City Commission will hold the first Public Hearing for the Fiscal Year 2021 Tentative Budget and Millage rate for the City and Downtown Improvement Board in conjunction with the Commission Meeting on September 8, 2020 at 5:01 p.m.
The City’s Tentative Budget includes revenues from the Proposed Millage Rate and Proposed Fire Assessment which are both subject to change and require approval by the City Commission.
The City Commission will hold a Public Hearing for the Proposed Fire Assessment on September 14, 2020 at 8 a.m. For additional information on the Proposed Fire Assessment, please visit https://www.pcgov.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=378.
The Second Public Hearing for the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget and Millage rate for the City and Downtown Improvement Board will be held in conjunction with the Commission Meeting on September 21, 2020 at 5:01 p.m.
All hearings will be held in the Bay County Commission Meeting Room located at the Bay County Government Complex, 840 West 11th Street. Hearings are open to the public, but citizens are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines. They will also be streamed live on the City’s website at https://www.pcgov.org/369/Live-Stream.