Apopka city officials trying to straighten out budget ahead of of next fiscal year

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Edward Bass, city administrator for Apopka

It may be only halfway through the 2018-2019 fiscal year for the city of Apopka but the city’s various department directors and finance personnel are already working on next year’s budget.

As part of that budget process, City Administrator Edward Bass, a former finance director for the city, wants to come up with a five-year plan that would map out capital expenditures, ensuring that Apopka would be able to keep up with replacing vehicles or repairing streets and sidewalks.

“My goal this time in the budget is we need a plan,” Bass said. “We need a five-year plan so that we can show here is a sidewalk plan, here’s a lighting plan, here’s whatever because you can’t do it all at once. That’s what a lot of departments want to do is put it all in there the first year and say, ‘I need this.” Well, you can’t do four years’ worth of maintenance or four years’ worth of work in one year. First of all, we can’t fund it and secondly, they can’t get it all done in a year.

“That’s my goal. I want to be able to present a plan we can stick to.

“We can come up with a plan and do the ones that are most critical the first year and then the next year, but have the plan laid out so by year two or three, we’ve covered them all responsibly. They’re going to have emergencies so we need to have funding for that so we can react to that.”

To get to that plan, however, Bass said Jamie Roberson, city finance director, and her staff are busily working on making sure that all debts owed by the city are accounted for and that revenues are put in the proper fund.

Bass, who is coming up on a year as city administrator after working for Seminole County for more than three years, said the Finance Department is dealing with revenue being placed in the wrong accounts and some debts that are owed having not been recorded in the final months prior to Bass’ arrival when the city had no permanent finance director.

To read the story in its entirety, pick up the Friday, April 12 issue of The Apopka Chief and see page 1A.