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Bal Harbour approves new garbage fees

Bal Harbour gives final approval to a slimmer budget bolstered by new garbage fees for residents.

By Rodolfo Roman
Special to the Herald

Bal Harbour will see a minor tax rate decrease — although residents will be charged a fee for solid waste services for the first time.

At last week’s final Bal Harbour budget hearing, the village council unanimously approved a tax rate of $2.45 per $1,000 of taxable property value compared to the current rate of $2.56.

The projected total spending for this coming budget is $11 million, down from $12.5 million.

Cuts include four positions in the public works department.

“If we kept them on we would have to be creating work and that would cost tax payers more money and I think that’s not who we are here to do,” referred Assistant Mayor Joni Blachar. “We are here to save money.”

More positions could be eliminated if the village contracts out its solid waste operations to save money. For the first time, Bal Harbour will propose to charge solid waste services through a separate assessment.

The fee for a single family-home is $505.60 and for a multi-family unit is $236.57.

The village saw a relatively small dip in property values in 2010: a little over 1 percent, according to the county property appraiser’s office.

Bal Harbour’s budget also includes $10 million on water and sewer improvements, mostly to replace lines that are more than 50 years old.

The village plans to borrow funds for the project, said Wallace, noting that the proposed budget also includes debt service payments.

The village also has $5.6 million in unreserved fund balance in the general fund, which represents about six months of operating expenditures.

Bal Harbour’s new tax rate will take effect Oct. 1, the start of the 2011-12 fiscal year.

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