Hallandale Beach Financial Plan for 2022-2025: This Is The Final Segment on Our City Managers Budget Message

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

August 26, 2021

The recommended Hallandale Beach budget includes opportunities to strategically address the City’s financial position, service offerings, and goals over the long-term

As a part of its expenditure reduction strategies over the past 7-10 years, the City did not make significant investments to maintain or upgrade its I.T. infrastructure. Due to that lack of investment in basic maintenance and upgrades, I.T. infrastructure is facing several operational issues, including systems which are no longer working, equipment which is failing (computers that are over 10 years old in some instances), major organizational software which has not been updated in years, and critical systems for City operations such as servers that need to be replaced because they are no longer being supported by vendors or covered by warranties. Additionally, one of our major concerns specifically relates to the security of our critical systems, as other municipalities have been faced with ransomware attacks. In order to address these issues, and plan for future ones such as our security requirements from both a software and a hardware perspective, over the next 4-5 years, there will be a cost to the General Fund in the amount of approximately $1.5 million.

Fleet Replacement Contributions
The required annual contribution by the General Fund to the Fleet Fund to fund vehicles, including Police vehicles, has not been made over the last three fiscal years. This is the result of poor planning and one-time cost savings of approximately $900,000 each year to balance the budget without having a plan for the future. Each year this investment is not made, the cost to maintain these vehicles continues to rise and equipment becomes more unreliable for public safety and operations in general. As stated, approximately 3 fiscal years ago, as a way to balance the budget through the use of one-time revenue sources, a decision was made to utilize funding used for replacing vehicles, and to remove all future contributions by the General Fund for the replacement of vehicles.

One of the most pressing needs is to replace Police vehicles. Currently, the Police Fleet (cars and SUV’s only) consists of approximately 118. Of that, 60 have exceeded their useful life of 8 years and are due for replacement. While using reserves to address this dire need is not feasible, Administration is working on a plan of action to re-start contributions to the Fleet Fund starting in FY2022-2023. Calculations were made using the proposed contribution for FY2021/2022 of $952,730. The percentages noted below represent a gradual return to full funding for General Fund vehicles in FY2025/2026, allowing the Fund to slowly recover and build reserves to then start the replacement cycle again in FY2028/2029 when the FY2020/2021 batch becomes due for replacement again.

Replacement of Fire Equipment
Similar to delayed vehicle replacements, the replacement of a pumper truck has been put on hold for 8 years. The pumper truck, currently used as a spare, is 23 years old and should have been replaced when it exceeded its useful life of 15 years. This investment is now a requirement since the truck is no longer operational and it has been included in the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) cost proposal for funding in FY2021/2022. Administration is working on a strategy which would allow us to pay for the pumper truck.

The recommended budget includes opportunities to strategically address the City’s financial position, service offerings, and goals over the long-term. Transparency and engagement with the Community and the City Commission over the next several weeks will be key to the adoption of the FY2021/2022 budget. To that end, a series of public workshops were scheduled in the months of May, June, and August. Public meetings will continue as follows:

09/13/21 First Public Hearing / City Hall Commission Chambers
09/27/21 Final Public Hearing / City Hall Commission Chambers

Acknowledgements
I would like to thank the members of the public, the City Commission, and all City Employees for going above and beyond in providing services to our community despite the unsurmountable challenges of this past year. It is the resiliency of this team that has allowed us to navigate the challenges of a global pandemic. Together we must take action to address the long-lasting effects of the health and financial crisis to better position the City in meeting the needs of the community today and long-term.

Specials thanks to the Budget Department for their dedication and commitment to move the City forward. This year’s budget document is the result of an extraordinary effort to complete the City’s first electronic budget book. This is a testament to our desire to provide modern, transparent, and interactive budget data to the Community and Stakeholders alike.

I hope you enjoyed reading Dr Earle ‘s message. The City Commission has held our last budget workshop and will be holding the official hearings to adopt the budget for this coming year. Please note the commission has formally adopted the Parking Plan all other proposals are plans that have not been acted on yet. I encourage our residents to get involved to understand the complexities of our budget.

As always, I am available anytime for your questions, concerns and ideas to make our City, a better place, on my phone/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or you can e-mail me at: jcooper@cohb.org. Please visit my Facebook Page: MayorJoyCooper. Like It! Friend It! Share It!