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NEWBERRY ‒ The Newberry City Commission is scheduled to consider the proposed millage rate and tentative budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22 at 7 p.m., Sept. 13, at Newberry City Hall. Prior to that date, Commissioners must approve a preliminary Millage Rate and advise the County Property Appraiser of the rate set for inclusion in the TRIM notice, which is sent out by the Appraiser’s office in August.

The second public budget hearing to adopt the final millage rate and final budget is 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 27, also at Newberry City Hall.

At the July 26 City Commission meeting, staff proposed setting the millage rate at the same rate as currently levied, which is 5.9999 mills. However, during the July 26 City Commission meeting, Commissioners approved Resolution 2021-27 setting the preliminary millage rate at 6.2807 mills, which is $6,2807 per $1,000 of assessed property within the City. “The rolled back rate is declared to be 5.5945mills,whichis $5.5945per $1,000.00 of assessedproperty,” said Assistant City Manager Dallas Lee.

“Proposed millage rates should be set at the highest rate the Board expects to adopt in September,” Lee said. The TRIM process allows for the City to adopt millage rates lower than that rate, but should they set it lower now and need to raise the millage rate later, the process becomes much more cumbersome. Therefore, municipalities generally set their millage rates higher than they expect will be needed to balance the budget.

A small scale amendment to the Future Land Use Map to change the Future Land Use classification from Low Density Residential (1 – 4 Dwelling Units/Acre to Medium Density Residential (less than or equal to 8 DU/Acre) was approved on second and final reading. The applicants, Herb and Jeanie Marlowe, own approximately 2.08 acres immediately north of Oak View Middle School, which currently has three single-family homes on the property located at 24916, 24928 and 24902 S.W. 4th Avenue.

Newberry Planner Wendy Kinser-Maxwell said, “This provides a step down of intensity of land use from Commercial to the west and Residential to the east. In addition, it provides additional housing opportunities for housing near schools.”

This ordinance will go into effect 31 days after approval.

Annexations

Following approval of the small scale amendment, Herb and Jeanie Marlowe also received approval to rezone the same 2.08 acres listed to the RMF-1 (Residential Medium Density Zoning District).

A quasi-judicial public hearing was held on second reading of Ordinances 2021-27, a petition by Cynthia Cullen Hatton, aka Cynthia Cullen Saylor, owner, to voluntarily annex approximately 40.3 acres consisting of two adjacent tax parcels into the City. The application included tax parcels #01834-003-000 and #01834-006-000 each of which consists of approximately 20.15 acres. This property is located approximately .25 mile south of Northwest 46th Avenue and a little less than a mile east of Northwest 298th Street (county line).

Another quasi-judicial public hearing was held on second reading of Ordinance 2021-28. The petitioner, James L. Fleming, requested to annex tax parcel 04265-007-000, consisting of approximately 7.66 acres, into the City. This ordinance was also approved by Commissioners. This property is located approximately .32 mile east of Northwest 202nd Street on the north side of West Newberry Road, just west of Pet Paradise.

A final quasi-judicial public hearing was heard on second reading and also received approval. Ordinance 2021-33 was presented by Planning and Economic Development Director Bryan Thomas to de-annex a parcel of land that the City has found is not substantially contiguous to the City’s boundary. Tax parcel 04152-001-000 consists of approximately 77.5 acres. “This ordinance is designed to resolve the conflict resolution process between Alachua County and the City of Newberry pertaining to this particular annexation.”

Law Enforcement Savings

The City of Newberry entered into an amended contract with the Alachua County Sheriff for law enforcement services in June. The amended contract resulted in a savings of $136,000 in the current year’s budget. The Commission opted to consider how the savings will be allocated during the budget process instead of considering them at the July 26 meeting.

Meeting Dates

City Manager Mike New announced several budget workshop dates, the first of which was initially scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 3, but has now been rescheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 7 – 9 p.m. There will also be an Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Town Hall meeting this fall and a proposed Town Hall meeting to take place on a weeknight in October where citizens can learn about Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) and the utility system.

In other matters, Mayor Marlowe thanked staff for working with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to move the crosswalk at the elementary school. He said the project was eight months in the making and that moving the traffic lights was the biggest part of the project.

He also mentioned two parades that are coming up. The first is the Welcome Home Vets parade, sponsored by the Newberry American Legion on Sept. 25 and a Homecoming Parade on Oct. 1.

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