With Elections Over, Gulfport Looks to Budget


Thursday, Gulfport city council had the first of several talks about the budget for fiscal year 2013-14. Below find some of the highlights and details from the workshop.

• Gulfport has 108 full time employees; roughly 50 of those work for the public safety departments.

 “We’re very thin,” staff-wise, City Manager Jim O’Reilly said.

• City Manager Jim O’Reilly explained that the city is maxed out on events, and Vice Mayor Dan Liedtke asked if the city should hire a full time employee to coordinate events

• Councilwoman Jennifer Salmon suggested passing the cost of events on to the events themselves.

• The city does not have a wide range of options for making money, but, the city manager said, “there’s been some growth in the general fund.”

• Gulfport homes and businesses buy water from the City of Gulfport. The city buys that water from St. Petersburg. In October 2018, Gulfport's agreement with St. Petersburg for providing water and sewer services expires. At that time, St. Petersburg could raise rates as much as 25%.

 Administrative Services Director Terry Gould told the council “there’s a need to have a discussion about water and sewer rates...as you can see we are some of the lowest rates.”

• Council discussed asking the city manager to create a five-year plan.

 “There’s a lot of assumptions in those,” the city manager cautioned. “If that’s something you’d like me to prepare, I can do that. I have no problem with that. It’s going to be very broad.”

• Councilwoman Christine Brown asked the city manager how long it would take to move the police department to 49th Street and make the marina upgrades if the city did not borrow the money. The city manager told her he could do one of the two if the city brought it reserve savings down to the charter-mandated 25% of the annual budget.

Read more from: Gulfport News