North Miami Beach will look to prioritize street and sidewalk improvements, hiring new police officers and capital improvements across the city in the next fiscal year.
As a protest went on outside about the city’s plan to privatize trash pickup, city leaders and staff held a budget workshop Tuesday evening, where they discussed how the city plans to spend general and enterprise funds to keep the budget balanced and also fund improvements to major roads, parks and other city facilities.
Some of the major spending from the general fund — about $913,000 — will go to purchasing new vehicles, with about $300,000 for police vehicles and $215,000 for new transportation for the parks and recreation department. Staff has also budgeted about $350,000 from the general fund for street resurfacing and sidewalk replacements.
Additionally, the city plans to create three new positions in next year’s budget including a city beautification manager, a community redevelopment agency coordinator and a finance coordinator.
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The city also plans to bring in two new police officers next year after hiring eight new officers in this fiscal year.
“That is critical for the success of our strategic plan by having a safer city that is livable,” finance director Barbara Trinka said.
Council members were mostly supportive of the proposals but also asked about some parts of staff’s strategy. Councilwoman Phyllis Smith asked why the city needed to hire a CRA coordinator when it has found some success with the current part-time staff.
“I think the accomplishments of the CRA have been phenomenal,” Smith said.
Vice Mayor Anthony DeFillipo also asked the city to prioritize Washington Park in its plans for next year. The city has budgeted about $5.4 million for the parks and recreation department including $525,000 for park and field maintenance and $150,000 for irrigation, lighting and security at the parks.
“It’s been promised to them for years, it’s been promised to them for decades and it’s not fair,” DeFillipo said.
The budget also proposes changing the use of the Hazel Fazzino Nursery, at 15910 NE 15th Ave., to a miniature park and purchasing new flame-retardant curtains for the Julius Littman Performing Arts Center. The first phase of the nursery work will cost about $90,000. The new curtains are $100,000.
The city will have a second budget workshop 6 p.m. Aug. 11 at City Hall, 17011 NE 19th Ave. The two official budget hearings will take place Sept. 8 and Sept. 21.