Oakland proposes millage rate of 6.5

The town approved a tentative budget of nearly $14 million for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

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The Oakland Town Commission held a one-hour budget workshop Tuesday, July 28, prior to approving the tentative budget and proposed millage rate at its regular meeting later that night.

The town has set the Fiscal Year 2020-21 tentative budget at $13,906,827 and is proposing a millage rate of 6.5 that supports that budget, Town Manager Steve Koontz said in his report. It is the same rate as last year.

Millage rates are the tax rates used to calculate local property taxes. The rate represents the amount per every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. The millage rate is multiplied by the total taxable value of the property to get the property taxes.

Municipalities can lower their millage rate after setting the rate, but they cannot raise it.

“We can go down if we see the opportunity,” Mayor Kathy Stark said. “But with the lack of sales tax, this is where we’re sitting right now.”

“This is a tentative budget based on the most current information available,” Koontz said. “There is a lot of uncertainty with sales tax revenues and revenue sharing from the state of Florida. There may be some changes and adjustments prior to the approval of the budget at the public hearings in September.”

Oakland’s budget is broken down into two categories. The proposed budget for the General Fund is $5,625,254; the Utility Fund is proposed at $3,132,896; and impact fees are $3,656,719.

This does not include the budget for Oakland Avenue Charter School, which was approved in June.

Public hearings for the budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, and Tuesday, Sept. 22.



• Pam Dwyer, principal at Oakland Avenue Charter School, presented the OACS mental health plan to the commission.

“The plan’s focus will be on student wellness, which encompasses students’ social, emotional and mental well-being through additional dedicated resources which include personnel, training and curriculum,” she said.

• Dwyer also presented a review of what has taken place for the reopening of the school. Parents were given the option of traditional classroom learning or virtual school. Dwyer said 275 respondents wanted the in-school learning model, 123 opted for the OACS at Home distance learning program, and several families responded that they were pulling their child out of OACS.

The first day of school for students is Friday, Aug. 21, regardless of which option was selected. All students are to report to school in January.

• The commission passed the second reading and public hearing of a Comprehensive Plan Future Land-Use Map amendment and rezoning for 102 W. Oakland Ave. The applicant, Cheri Kent, intends to establish a small tailoring business, Uptown Stitch Alterations. The zoning was changed from R-1A single-family residential to C-1 commercial. Kent, who has been tailoring for more than 30 years, wants to hold small-group sewing classes for children and maintains traffic will be minimal.

• Commissioners voted to vacate a five-foot utility easement between lots 1 and 2 of Oakland Park Unit 6A so the applicant, J&J Builders Inc., can build one single-family home on the two lots. The lots are at 1001 and 1007 Celadon St.

• Elected officials approved a request by Lake Apopka Sound 2/Eagles Landing to exempt the development from the town’s design-district regulations. The applicant is building a subdivision with 102 single-family home lots in Lake County; the development continues into Orange County/Oakland with 19 lots.

Commissioners were hesitant to vote in favor of the request for fear of it setting precedence, but Assistant Town Planner Jeff Richardson said this is an isolated case that probably will not come up again.




Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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