LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) – Lynn Haven city commissioners are zeroing-in on a 2023-24 spending plan. They held their first public budget hearing tonight.

The proposed budget is 63 million dollars and no there’s not a hike in the millage rate. However stormwater assessment fees will most likely increase.

Lynn Haven property owners heard good news at Wednesday night’s Lynn Haven budget meeting.

Ad valorem millage rates will decrease from 4.1 mills to a flat 4 mills.

However, the majority of residents who attended were concerned about increases in the stormwater assessment fees.

“We’re proposing to increase on one side and we’re actually decreasing on another side,” said Lynn Haven Mayor Jesse Nelson.

Commissioners first approved stormwater assessment fees in Aug. 2021.

What they’re proposing now is a five-year fee schedule that increases each year.

Under the proposal, fees would jump on Oct. 1, from $139 to $154 a year. It will increase each year to a rate of $195 by 2027.

Many of the residents don’t like the plan. But city officials say it’s necessary.

“I wish that money fell from the sky but it doesn’t so it means we must continue this hard work for the citizens. We have to make some difficult decisions,” said Lynn Haven Commissioner Judy Vandergrift.

For Nelson, the stormwater fee increases played a role in cutting the millage rate.

“We think by potentially increasing stormwater and the utility rates that it is important for us to save our citizens as much money as possible,” said Nelson.

The overall budget is actually decreasing. It’s going from $79 million this year, to $63 million next year.

“We’re very thankful for our staff that continues to pursue the various grants that we can actually do more for the citizens of Lynn Haven,” said Nelson.

Commissioners said they were happy with the turnout tonight and hope the next meeting will be just as full.

Commissioners will hold a final vote on the budget on Tuesday Sept. 26 at 5:30 p.m.

The finalized budget will be put into place on Oct. 1.