NEW: Wellington’s budget went up by $21 million. Here’s why.


Wellington’s budget is growing by nearly $21 million. But officials want to make sure residents know where that money is coming from: savings.

The village has been stowing money away for two projects — rebuilding its water and wastewater treatment plants — for about 10 years, Village Manager Paul Schofield said at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

» RELATED: Wellington grinder will clean up debris, but it will be noisy

Those two projects, and the $14.5 million to pay for them, were part of the $110 million budget unanimously approved by the council at that meeting.

Council members also gave final approval to the coming fiscal year’s tax rate of 2.43. Though that is a drop from this year’s rate of 2.44, residents likely will have higher tax bills after Wellington saw a nearly 8 percent increase in property values from last year. That rise would be about $15 for a homesteaded property valued at $307,500 — Wellington’s median home value — or $53 for that same property if it is not homesteaded.

» BACK HOME: Post’s new Wellington reporter returns to her roots

Schofield said while some of the $21 million added to the 2018 budget comes from property taxes, the $14.5 million being added from the Wellington Utility Department’s savings is the largest chunk. Another $3.5 million is Wellington’s slice of the county’s 1 cent sales tax, part of which the village will use for work at Community Park on South Shore Boulevard.

“I think that the number can be eye-popping, but it is really because we have taken previously collected money and put it into one budget at one time,” Vice Mayor John McGovern said.

This year’s budget also includes:

  • Two percent more for the village’s contract with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, including money for two more deputies in Wellington.
  • More than $475,000 to widen the intersection of South Shore Boulevard and Pierson Road.
  • An increase in money for Wellington’s senior transportation program.
  • Funding to expand the parking lot at the Wellington Tennis Center.
  • $300,000 for more multi-use paths and bike lanes, and another $300,000 to expand the village’s neighborhood trails program.
  • $75,000 to replace between one and five neighborhood signs.

Texting while driving

In addition to passing the budget, the council unanimously approved a resolution to encourage the Florida Legislature to pass a law making texting while driving a primary offense. Currently in Florida, texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning motorists have to be pulled over for another reason – like speeding or reckless driving – before a law enforcement officer can cite them for tapping on their smartphones while behind the wheel.

In passing its resolution, Wellington joins other cities around the state — including Boynton Beach and Boca Raton — in calling for state lawmakers to toughen penalties for drivers who text behind the wheel.

» READ MORE: Wellington to state lawmakers: Pass texting-and-driving ban

Top Cop and Top Firefighter

Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Sandra Horne was named Wellington’s Top Cop of the Year. Her work with senior citizens in the village put her at the top of a list of several highly qualified candidates, council members said. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue firefighter/paramedic Bradlee Doerzbacher was named Wellington’s Top Firefighter of the Year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Things to do: Jazz on J Street at Lake Worth Book Cellar
Things to do: Jazz on J Street at Lake Worth Book Cellar

Things to do in Lake Worth: 1. Jazz on J Street: A professional JAM Session hosted by Blanche Williams is Tuesday at The Book Cellar, 801 Lake Avenue. Show runs from 7-10 p.m. with a $5 cash cover. Free public parking available on Lake Avenue, J Street and all around. 2. Divas on Stage: Performances by Lupita Hollywood, Melissa St John, Dayzee Deluxx...
Judge: Edna Hibel museum must leave FAU’s Jupiter campus
Judge: Edna Hibel museum must leave FAU’s Jupiter campus

Works of art by Edna Hibel, and any other personal property from the foundation in the late Singer Island artist’s name, must be removed from Florida Atlantic University’s John D. MacArthur campus by Sept. 24, a judge has ruled. This marks the end of a battle to keep the Hibel Museum of Art at 5353 Parkside Drive in Jupiter through the...
Look for a big block party every month in downtown Lake Worth
Look for a big block party every month in downtown Lake Worth

Evening on the Avenue is gone in Lake Worth . Now, get ready for Block Party on the Avenue, a new monthly event starting Oct. 5 on Lake Avenue from 6 to 10 p.m. “We want to bring something new this year and try to help the merchants who are still open on the Avenue to bring business downtown,” said Vice Mayor...
Wellington game shooting: Too close for one family in more than one way
Wellington game shooting: Too close for one family in more than one way

It all started with a cryptic text from their daughter. “I’m safe,” Hope Lerman had written to her parents, defense attorney Gregg Lerman and his wife, Debra. “I’m with Coach Pagley.” It was Friday night, and the Lermans had expected their daughter home late from one of the most highly anticipated football games...
UPDATE: Fuel tanker rolls over, injures 2 and shuts down I-95 lanes in Lake Worth
UPDATE: Fuel tanker rolls over, injures 2 and shuts down I-95 lanes in Lake Worth

7:30 P.M. UPDATE: According to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, the rollover crash involved a fuel tanker. Two people were injured and transported to a hospital by helicopter. All lanes were reported to be open. 7:05 P.M. UPDATE: According to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, the rollover crash involved a fuel tanker. Two people were injured and...
More Stories