Leesburg Current Newsletter October-December 2023
Budget Highlights for Fiscal Year 2024
The City Commission and staff have worked diligently to establish the annual operating budget for Fiscal Year 2024, which begins on October 1, 2023. This year’s budget totals approximately $218 million, a slight decrease of approximately $5 million (2%) from FY 2023. The decrease is attributable to lower fuel costs in the Electric Fund.
Of the total budget, the General Fund comprises about $33 million or 15% of all the services provided by the City. It is most recognized for governmental services which include police, fire, library, streets maintenance, parks and recreational programs. To provide these services, the FY 24 proposes to reduce the tax rate from 4.0192 mills to 3.4752 mills (roll-back rate) and continues to provide the same level of services.
viding utility services to the Leesburg region makes up the majority of the City’s operations. In fact, the single largest annual expense is the purchase of energy from the Florida Municipal Power Agency which is $58 million – a decrease from FY 23 but still about 40% higher than historic trends. FMPA is typically 30% of the entire budget.
The Enterprise Funds, made up of water, sewer, stormwater, solid waste, gas and electric services, total nearly $146 million, compared to FY 23’s $158 million. Pro
The City Commission’s progressive goals and fiscal responsibility have earned the City recognition from the Government Finance Officers Association for 25 consecutive years.
Once a Week Watering Begins on November 5th
Falling back to Eastern Standard Time brings with it the return of once-a-week lawn watering. Starting on November 5th, water customers in the St. Johns River Water Management District, which includes nearly all of Lake County, can only irrigate their lawns one day per week, before 10:00am and after 4:00pm.
Addresses ending in an odd number or homes without an address may only irrigate on Saturday. Addresses ending in an even number must irrigate on Sunday. Nonresidential properties may irrigate on Tuesday. Residents of Royal Highlands and The Plantation at Leesburg are on a separate irrigation schedule and should check with their HOA to verify the irrigation schedule for their pod or precinct.
If you are a Leesburg water customer and need assistance programming your irrigation controller, please call our Public Works Department at 352-435-9442
Firefighters Recognized with Fire Unit Citations
Fire Chief Joe Mera presented Lt. Darin Mathis, Firefighter Tymber McLain and Firefighter Connor Urbon with Fire Unit Citations at the August 14th City Commission meeting. The
crew was recognized for their response to a mobile home fire that occurred in May.
As the first unit on the scene, they began to lay a hose line when they learned a resident was still in the dwelling. The firefighters immediately changed tactics and entered the burning home, successfully removing the individual and turning him over to EMS for care. They then proceeded to extinguish the fire.
Congratulations to all three firefighters on a job well done.
Do you Close Before You Doze?
A message from the Leesburg Fire Department
Did you know that something as easy as closing your bedroom door at night could save your life? This simple act can provide critical help in delaying the spread of fire. Check out these facts and remember – Close Before You Doze.
- MAKE A 900 DEGREE DIFFERENCE - A closed door can mean reducing 1,000 degrees down to 100 degrees.
- TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH - During a fire, a closed door can keep carbon monoxide levels at 1,000 PPM versus 10,000 PPM if the door is left open.
- TAKE A BREATHER - A fire needs oxygen to burn. A closed door keeps more oxygen in the room and away from the fire. When you exit a fire, make sure to close your door behind you to slow down its growth.
- DOZE SAFELY - 50% of home fire deaths happen between 11pm and 7am. Closing your doors before you hit the hay helps keep you safe.
Recreation Department - Sports and so much more…
Haunted House: October 27th thru 29th at the Leesburg Rec Complex Gymnasium, 1851 Griffin Road. Open 7:30pm-10:00pm. All ages welcome. Admission is $5 per person.
Light Up Venetian Gardens and Boat Parade: December 3rd at Ski Beach in Venetian Gardens. Fun family event with holiday music, food trucks and hay rides. Lighting Ceremony at 6:00pm and Boat Parade at 6:15pm. For info on Light Up activities call the Rec Department. To enter the Boat Parade, contact Fred O’Brien at 352-326-8274.
Breakfast with Santa: December 16th, 9:00am-11:00am. Space is limited to the first 100 guests. Deadline for pre-sale tickets is December 14th. Cost is $7.00 for pre-sale or $10.00 at the door if available.
Start Smart Sports Development: Children ages 3-8. Registration is open December 1st – January 14th. This is an instructional program to introduce children to organized sports. Groups will meet once a week for six weeks.
Youth Baseball and Softball: Registration opens in December with first practices in February. Ages 5-16U. Players provide cleats, glove and pants.
Sign-ups for Youth Basketball: Bitty Ball Basketball registration (ages 5-6) is September thru October. Junior Basketball (ages 7-9) and Hot Shots (ages 10-12) can register November thru January.
Adult Co-Ed Soccer: Teams must be pre-formed (interest list available for players without a team). Must provide your own team jersey. Minimum 2 females per team. Registration opens in November. Games start in January. $35 per player.
For more information and to register for activities, please contact the Recreation Department at 352-728-9885 or visit www.LeesburgFlorida.gov/Recreation.