Major Projects Ahead for City of Boca Raton
BOCA RATON — The Boca Raton City Council has approved a $253.8 million budget that would allow city leaders to start negotiating a lease to redevelop the Mizner Park Amphitheater, make safety improvements along Palmetto Park Road east of the Intracoastal Waterway and connect the new Brightline train station to downtown.
With all that in mind, the council still made room in the budget for other major projects.
On Nov. 1, it expects to close the sale of the Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course for $65.7 million. With the sale proceeds, the council plans to put $7.8 million toward renovating the golf course, which will be renamed the Boca Raton Golf and Racquet Club. The council expects to spend $370,000 a year on operating the golf course.
Other budget plans will focus on building improvements. The council will use $253,000 to cover the cost of a building recertification program, which will require buildings at their 30-year mark — with the exception of single-family homes and duplexes — to submit an inspection report every 10 years.
The council will give a $590,100 grant to the Boca Raton Historical Society and Museum, which undertook major building renovations at Old Town Hall, which dates to 1927 and houses the historical society.
On Friday, the historical society announced that it had received a $1 million donation from philanthropists Dick and Barbara Schmidt to rename the museum the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum.
The council also plans to use $639,100 to fund 23 new positions, which include an assistant city manager who will help with the transition when one of the deputy city managers retires at the end of next year. The council also plans to hire two permit and licensing technicians, two building inspectors and a construction inspector.
The council will spend an additional $1.8 million on police salaries and benefits and $2.2 million on fire salaries and benefits. It will spend an additional $919,300 on police pensions and $1.4 million on fire pensions.
The council set the total millage rate at 3.67 mills per $1,000, meaning that a home with a taxable value of $325,000 will pay $1,195.51 in ad valorem taxes.
Boca Raton has one of the lowest property tax rates for a full-service city in Florida. The property tax rates were 6.84 in Delray Beach, 7.89 in Boynton Beach and 8.42 in West Palm Beach.
The council plans to use $7.2 million of its $12.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to balance the budget. It will use the remaining funds for its capital improvement program.