For the 10th consecutive year, the millage rate for Osceola County residents remains unchanged, as Osceola County Commissioners approved a $1.3 billion fiscal year 2020 budget Monday with an emphasis on transportation and public safety.
“Budgets always present challenges because funding is seldom equal to need, but once again we’ve been mindful of our responsibilities while exercising prudent fiscal management practices in order to continue to best serve our citizens with an emphasis on transportation and public safety,” said Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb. “I feel this year’s budget strikes a balance to address the needs and expectations of our residents.”
Through the leadership of the board and efforts of our partners, the approved budget continues to provide necessary services to the citizens at the same millage rates as fiscal year 2019 for the General Fund, County EMS and Library with minimal adjustment to SAVE Maintenance, although offset by the SAVE Debt rate with no net increase, in order to reserve funds for perpetual maintenance of acquired lands.
Highlights of this year’s spending plan include:
• Road projects, such as the next phases of Neptune Road along with reserving funds towards the construction; funding toward Simpson Road, Boggy Creek Road improvements, and County Road 532 widening.
• Increased focus on intersections, traffic signals and sidewalks.
• Increased funding for road resurfacing and storm water which includes a Master Surface Water Management Plan.
• Increased funding for 14 new correction officers and for the Sheriff’s Office.
• Increased funding for 18 new firefighters for Station 42 on Poinciana Boulevard and Station 73 in Reunion. Both stations are the west side of the county and will be used to staff two rescue units.
• Construction of a new fire station at Austin Tindall Park on Boggy Creek Road.