Communication Builds Our Community

Surplus Reported as City Finished Fiscal Year

Excellent Economy Contributed to Growing Revenue

The City of Lake Wales finished the 2021-2022 fiscal year in better-than-expected financial shape, based upon figures included in a year-end budget amendment approved by city commissioners. The fiscal year ended on September 30, but final balances were not available for a few weeks.

City Budget Director Dorothy Abbott presented the documents to the commissioners, explaining that the changes in the numbers reflected the needed final look back at the year concluded. The General Fund showed an unexpected increase of $3,337,908, based mostly on a growth of ad valorum property tax income of nearly $1.6 million. Other factors contributing to the rise included intergovernmental income, which jumped by $390,000, and licenses and permits, which were $420,000 higher than projections.

The city's transportation fund showed a surplus of $1.772 million, nearly a half-million more than anticipated.

Expenditures also grew beyond budget projections, largely as a result of increased demand for services.

The only fund showing a significant deficit was the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). CRA capital expenditures were anticipated to be over nine million, but were reduced about $7.7M to $1.395M because work had not yet started. Income to that fund was also reduced by $8.1M because a planned bond issue is still incomplete.

The CRA is expected to conclude an $18.5 million bond issue next week. Those funds will largely be directed to the Lake Wales Connected redevelopment plan. The largest anticipated contract under that plan was awarded last week, supporting an $11.6 million reconstruction of Park Avenue and the downtown MarketPlace.

Several of the accounts had significant balances to be carried forward, including the American Rescue fund, which contains monies earmarked for infrastructure projects. A balance there of just over $7M provides for future improvements to the city's hardscape.


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