City of Palm Coast Kicks Off Budget Workshops Today During Special Workshop Meeting

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The City of Palm Coast has officially started their budget planning process for the next fiscal year. There will be a special budget workshop every month until September, when the Council will then vote to accept the new fiscal budget.  The City’s first budget workshop started off with a presentation on the 10 year capital improvement plans for the city.

Capital projects fund will include existing facility rehabilitation, critical and urgent project needs, general maintenance, non-impact fee shares of parks and fire projects impact fee fund projects, and maintaining flexibility. The presentation covered the restrictions that are placed on the Capital Project Funds, which included the fact that new capital projects may be largely funded by impact fees, but according to state law, must also be funded by funds from existing residents as well. Currently new capital projects are funded 70% by impact fees, and 30% capital projects funds.

Also in the 10 year Capital Improvement Plans were the road improvements and expansions, and utilities improvements and expansions.

Next to present their budget presentation was Palm Coast Fire Chief Berryhill.  He spoke to the importance of staff, proper equipment and proper station locations, to allow for the fire department to give the best possible fire service in the City of Palm Coast. The City’s current goal for call response times is 85% of calls 7 minutes or less.  Currently they are at 82%, due to one station being in the wrong spot. Retention and growth is another issue the fire department is working to improve on; with an emphasis on hiring from interns. The fire chief did state that no new trucks would be needed this year, however they will need two in fiscal year 2026. 

The last presentation was on Community Development, which has three departments. Planning department, building department, and code enforcement. The Community Development budget includes all three departments and comes from the general fund account.  Eighty percent of the planning division is personnel, with minimal overhead. The building department struggles with staffing as the exceptionally high requirements from the state make it harder to find staff. Currently the city is using an intern program to grow their ranks, but training is tedious and time consuming. The code enforcement department sees 64% of its overhead due to staffing, with additional overhead needed for animal control, wildfire mitigation, etc. 

The City Council will receive more details regarding the budgets for these departments at a later meeting.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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