"We're going to be broke next year," DRC Executive Director David said Wednesday during a meeting with members of the
The DRC approved a budget
There are 1,861 parking meters and 18 pay stations in commercial areas on and near
In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, nearly
"If we don't bring in more revenue or reduce expenses, [it will cause problems]," he told DRC board members during their
Parking rates increased
"Now essentially with flat revenues and because of increased private sector competition, we're expecting a pretty flat revenue stream for the years coming ahead," Sebok said.
Sebok said the DRC also used to have profitable partnerships with private parking lots that allowed the group to bring in additional revenues between 2007 and 2012. That additional revenue could be set aside in a fund balance, of which some has been used to pay for things the DRC needs or wants.
"We've been funding all of these things through the profit that we have built up years ago," Sebok said.
The DRC has been trying to generate enough support to encourage
Sebok said he understands, however, that council may be reluctant to impose an additional tax increase on those in the downtown area after increasing property taxes for all city residents by 3 mills to 69.1. The tax increase, which would raise about
If a MID were created, owners of land and commercial businesses, including rented residential properties, would pay more in taxes for a number of years. That money would, in turn, be earmarked for use only on an approved list of projects that benefit the DRC.
DRC members have suggested projects ranging from building new parking garages to reconfiguring roads at Five Points -- where
Sebok said money collected through the MID would free up money in the group's budget and enable them to do more capital improvements and enhance services.
But some council members have expressed concerns with increasing taxes any more.
"If I was a DRC member, I would want a MID," Councilman
DRC members formed a committee to solicit feedback from property owners in the downtown area and have said they hope to present a proposal to
When the DRC learned that a planned project improving the streetscape and burying utilities along
Sebok said the group already planned to contribute a total of
"The people in the south area were expecting these improvements," Sebok said, adding that
The two-year project will include refurbishing water and sewer lines and installing new sidewalks, curbs and gutters, assistant city manager
City staff is putting the documents in order with plans to put it out for a bid in time for a contractor begin work in September, Andrews said. Work would be done between
That was an additional expense DRC members hadn't expected.
"That section of the boulevard is where there's some interest in redevelopment occurring and we don't want to do anything to hinder that," Andrews said. "If the private property folks are wanting to redevelop in that area the public infrastructure around it should be ready for them."
The DRC appropriated
But spending that additional money was one of the factors that led the DRC to make some cuts, including decreasing it's financial support of the
OMA, which was created by a number of
Next fiscal year OMA will receive about
When considering its budget, Sebok recommended and board members agreed that the DRC contribute up to 25 percent of the costs to organizations seeking funds to hold special events in the downtown area.
DRC points to OMA as an example of businesses owners coming together to improve the experiences of those visiting the downtown area, and Sebok said DRC hopes to also improve things in blighted parts of town, such as the south mixed-used area from
"We could always say that taking care of the south end and revitalizing down there is no longer a priority and we are just going to worry about special events," Martino said during the
The DRC also pulled money from its business interruption fund, which would be used to cover necessary costs in case of a hurricane or other "devastating event" that damaged the area.
"In order to balance the budget we decreased the amount of money in the fund from
While parking is the DRC's largest revenue generator, managing it also is the group's largest annual expense.
In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the DRC expects to spend about
They expect to spend nearly
In addition to the funds projected for Ocean Boulevard streetscape improvements at
The budget plans for about
Sebok said that money is spent to maintain the level of cleanliness and safety that visitors expect.
"Visitors to any place want and expect and notice a sense of cleanliness, safety and enjoyable activities," he said. "These public amenities need maintenance and they're not your typical sidewalk or boardwalk or streetscape. ... The intensity of use combined with the harsh physical -- salt, sun and wind -- mandates that we provide these enhanced services."
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