Lynn Haven final budget passed for FY21/22

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LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) – Lynn Haven City Commissioners have approved a spending plan for the next year.

They passed the final budget and millage rate for the fiscal year 2021/2022 on Tuesday night.

Commissioners were able to lower the millage rate by two mills, from 4.3 to 4.1. They also decided against raising utility rates.

City Manager Vickie Gainer said she heard residents loud and clear and made a point to cut what needs to be cut.

“It feels good to be able to be very conservative in your budget and still be able to give the residents the quality service they need,” Gainer said.

She also said the city budget has been leveling off since Hurricane Michael in 2018 and is close to getting back to what is considered standard.

The non-ad valorem stormwater assessment fee approved last month is also included in this next year’s budget.

The addition of the stormwater assessment will change residents’ utility bills.

“On that bill was a stormwater fee,” Gainer said. “It was a matter of $3.61. That amount will come off because now that will be an assessment that residents will receive every year so they will no longer see that stormwater fee on their utility bill.”

Commissioners also held a workshop Tuesday about two grant programs in the city’s future.

Lynn Haven Fire Chief John DeLonjay said 75 percent of the money from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) grants are covered by the federal government, as long as the city pitches in 25 percent, which Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is going to help cover with Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) grants.

“The federal government has extended the olive branch and a lot of municipalities were hurting during the hurricane,” DeLonjay said. “We’ve encumbered a lot of debt due to debris and everything else. So we’re foolish if we are trying to improve things for more dollars. If we can buy something for a dollar and only have to pay 25 percent, most people are going to pay that.”

The rebuild includes Fire Station 1, the police department, and the sports complex gymnasium and ballfields to name a few.

Construction on the new city hall should begin next week.

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