North Miami Beach may take $2.9 million from its savings account to balance the city’s 2013-2014 budget.
The reason is simple: “We don’t have the revenue to cover our experiences,” said Jan Smith, the city finance director in an interview after a City Council budget workshop last week.
The city will still have $11.5 million in savings after the expenditure, Smith said.
The bulk of the $2.9 million is due to the city’s projected $2.25 million increase of the police department’s budget.
“Most of it is just transferring police officers from other funds,” Smith said during a budget workshop Thursday night.
In total 12 officers who were being paid through grants and other sources now have their salaries paid by the city’s general fund.
That breaks down to six officers who were paid through a federal Community Oriented Policing Services grant which expired earlier this year.
Five officers who were paid through state Law Enforcement Trust Funds and one paid through the Community Redevelopment Agency will also be transferred to the general fund.
“That will allow us to free up some of those Law Enforcement Trust Funds to help with security and visibility and those types of things for the residents,” said Police Chief Larry Gomer during the meeting.
Over the summer Gomer had presented the council with this plan to improve public safety by implementing new initiatives to address juvenile crime and delinquency, such as neighborhood sports teams and other youth programs.
Gomer said he’d like to get GPS tracking in police vehicles, wearable cameras for uniforms and other equipment for officers through LETF money and grants.
The city’s contribution to the police pension fund also increased, by about $497,106, and the city is slated to start a red-light camera program in the upcoming fiscal year.
In addition to policing, about $470,000 of the $2.9 million is earmarked for the implementation of a new strategic plan for the city, an improvement of parks, and other services.
The city also plans to make a community newsletter and taking steps to brand the city better.
Extensions to community pool and library hours along with swimming lessons are expected to be continued in the new fiscal year.
The city will hold two public hearings on the budget next month, the first of which will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 in City Hall, 17011 NE 19th Ave.