- November 20, 2019
Winter Garden city commissioners on Thursday, Sept. 17, approved United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida’s site plan for a new Winter Garden campus.
The single-story, 25,000-square-foot building will be located on 8 acres at 1441 Winter Garden—Vineland Road. The charter school will offer educational therapy services for 325 students.
In addition to the building, UCP’s project will include parking areas, play areas, sports courts, landscaping and an expansion to an existing pond that extends into the south parcel.
UCP’s current West Orange campus is located at 1297 Winter Garden-Vineland Road, Suite 110.
“This expansion will help us meet the growing need for our services in Winter Garden and the surrounding communities,” UCP officials said in a prepared statement. “The new campus provides our families, teachers, therapists and team members a permanent home that can sustain the growing demand for our services in West Orange County.”
Winter Garden’s final budget hearing took place Sept. 17 prior to the regular City Commission meeting. This year’s budget is based on a 4.50 millage rate, which has remained flat despite a decrease in major sources of revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The budget totals $70 million and accommodates a 2% cost-of-living increase for employees. It also operates under the guidelines that new capital-improvement projects will be considered based on need and funding availability; requests for new positions are limited to public safety; and operating and capital budgets were reviewed to determine any potential cuts to expenditures.
Projected revenues and other financing sources total nearly $77.5 million, according to city documents. Expenditures and disbursements total just more than $70.1 million, which includes $36.4 million to the General Fund personnel and operating expenditures — an increase of 2.4% — as well as $2.9 million for capital projects.
According to city documents, Winter Garden’s total taxable value is expected to increase just more than 9.6% this year, resulting in about a $1.6 million increase from the previous year.
However, because of COVID-19, sales tax and state revenue shortages also are a factor. City documents state that sales tax is projected to decrease from $7.4 million to $5.2 million and the state sharing revenue could decrease from $2.2 million to $1.5 million.