In 2010 – 2011 it was $8 million.

In 2011 – 2012 it was $6 million

But then the next budget year (2012 – 2013) estimated for another $6 million shortfall.

So far, all gaps have been closed by using reserves.

Certainly not conducive to finding and fixing the problem.

Using reserves isn’t such a bad idea the first, maybe second time.

Especially since Mayor Ryan “found” an extra $40 million for reserves essentially doubling them.

But continuing to use reserves will go a long way toward wiping out the “extra.”

$60 million would still be considered good, but a “good” hurricane can go a very long way in wiping that out.

I’m sure Sunrise is banking on a better stream of income as property prices rise.

That may be five years or longer, meaning another $30 million in budget gaps.

That’s not acceptable.

The city needs to rethink their fees.  They’re way too high.

They might be right in a normal economy, but not now.

Fewer people can afford the fees, so usage is down and limiting income.

Shut down the bus system.

Or open it to advertising, either saving $1 million per year.

No way can the city shut down the bus system, so expand it (with advertising.)

Set up new routes that go past city schools and issue bus passes to children at $10 per month.

Set new fares outside of Sunrise Lakes.  $1.25 should work.

Offer service to high density area residents to Sunrise shopping, even the civic center for shows and concerts.

These things won’t close the budget gap, but they’re a good start.

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