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Tampa city council weighs future of budget in special workshop

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 Tampa city council weighs future of budget in special workshop

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TAMPA, Fla. — Cuts are coming to Tampa's FY 2024 budget. In a special workshop on Wednesday, council members met to discuss where those cuts will be. "When we're looking at big dollars, is that something we really have to do?" Councilwoman Gwen Henderson posed. She's talking about big dollars to the tune of $45 million. "We know what size the pie is.

Now we just have to divide the pie," said City Council Member Alan Clendenin. Last week, Council Members voted against approving Mayor Jane Castor's budget proposal. While it would have funded multiple projects across departments, such as repairing roads, adding parks and services, and more help for housing, it would have done so through a 16% property tax increase. "Unfortunately, a lot of people that will have wants in this budget that is not going to be met.

Unfortunately, now for the next 12 months, there's a lot of people that have needs in this budget that are not going to be met," said Council Member Clendenin. They spent hours on the dais Wednesday discussing the budget and how to prioritize the money available. WFTS A top priority includes public safety.

That money would go towards some life-saving changes, like finally building Fire Station 24. "Just recently, we had one of our members, there was a pediatric drowning in the pool. They called for a helicopter and the fire truck got there at the same time as the helicopter. That's pretty bad," said the local fire union president, Nick Stocco. Cuts will happen.

One potential cut: merit raises for some employees. The other place we could see cuts is in organizations that receive money from the city to maintain business. Members of groups potentially on the chopping block showed up, hoping to appeal to commissioners to give them even a sliver of the pie. "For the operational needs of the Ybor City Museum Society to continue doing what it's doing, the City of Tampa funding is critical." The earliest that Council could actually vote on a budget is September 19.

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