The Oakland Town Commission approved the final budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21 at its Sept. 22 meeting. For the next year, beginning Oct. 1, the town will operate with a budget of $21,460,631 based on a millage rate of 6.5.
In a breakdown of the three funds that make up the town’s budget, the General Fund was approved at $6,303,364, the Impact Fees fund totals $5,334,728, the Utility Fund budget is $4,024,156, and Oakland Avenue Charter School will operate on a $5,798,383 budget.
The previous fiscal year budget was $17,317,840.
The town has been committed to lowering its millage rate in the last few years, but this year the commission chose to maintain the previous year’s rate of 6.5 mills.
“Sales taxes are down, and we do not know what the impact of that is,” Mayor Kathy Stark said. “I think we are being careful this year to see what the impacts are.”
STARR STREET CONNECTION
The commission accepted a Utility and Roadway Easement that paves the way for a continuation of Starr Street from Oakland Avenue to West Colonial Drive. The first step is to acquire the necessary right-of-way. Lakeside Church and Tractor Supply, both of which are building along the future section of Starr, have dedicated 40 feet each along their western boundary for the extension of Starr.
The easement agreement will allow the construction of the road and will allow the town to construct water and sewer lines.
AGREEMENT WITH COUNTY HISTORY CENTER
The town approved a Memorandum of Understanding that allows Oakland to enter into an agreement with the Orange County Regional History Center for the Oakland Oral History Project. This partnership allows the two entities to work together to collect the oral histories of residents in Oakland for preservation and education.
Professionally trained oral historians from the county history center will conduct and record the interviews. The history center in Orlando will own the copyrights to the interviews, but the town will receive digital copies to use in exhibits on the town’s website and at the new Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center.
Town officials have come up with a list of potential people to interview; the plan is to initially interview black residents who might be able to provide information about the Oakland African American Historic Cemetery.
“That’s just awesome, and I want to make sure we capture folks as quickly as possible,” Stark said.
TREE CITY USA
To maintain its status as a Tree City USA, Oakland has planted more than 30 trees in five areas of the town, including at the lift station and Speer Park, under the direction of Public Works Director Mike Parker. Residents should be able to spot the red maple, red cedar, live oak and magnolia trees planted around the town.