CRESTVIEW—It took less than 30 minutes for the City Council to approve the 2012-13 fiscal budget and millage rate on Wednesday.
City Finance Director Patti Beebe proposed that the millage rate remain at 5.5966, which would levy just more than $5 million in taxes. City Clerk Elizabeth "Betsy" Roy then proposed adopting the millage rate by resolution.
The council unanimously voted to approve the millage rate and a $35.3 million budget. All council members were present at the meeting except for council Vice President Tim Grandberry.
Seven people attended the meeting and one person spoke for the public input portion — not concerning the budget, but rather on the council’s support for public transit serving Crestview.
Resident Yvonne Mace thanked council members Robyn Helt and Charles Baugh and Mayor David Cadle for showing their support during Tuesday’s Okaloosa County Commission meeting in Fort Walton Beach. She also thanked residents who came to the meeting.
She referenced some city officials’ efforts to keep the Wave Express bus system in the Hub City; namely, Helt, Baugh and city planner Eric Davis, who rode the bus to the commission meeting to help save the transit system. After hearing from council members and residents who ride the Wave Express system, commissioners voted to keep the Crestview routes.
"We were able to convince them to take out their general budget $65,000 so that we could keep the transit system,” Mace said.
However, she didn’t seem optimistic about the transit’s Crestview service beyond the year commissioners approved to pay for.
"They will do it this year, but next year they probably won't do it," Mace said. "If we don't use it, we’re probably going to lose it."
Mace asked the council to consider using money from next year's fiscal budget to keep the bus system running in Crestview.
The council thanked her for her comments.