How do you want West Palm Beach to spend your money?

Mayor Jeri Muoio and City Commissioners are inviting the public to participate in a series of Community Budget Workshops, as they make decisions about which projects and programs get how much money.

The new budget year starts Oct. 1 and the planning process has begun. Time for the public to weigh in.

The workshops will be hosted by Mayor Muoio, Chief Financial Officer Mark Parks, and Budget Manager Linda McDermott. They will be held in each of the City’s five districts:

  • July 24, 6 p.m.: Fire Station #3, 5050 Broadway (District 1).
  • July 26, 6 p.m.: Fire Station #5, 500 N. Congress (District 2).
  • July 27, 6 p.m.: Flagler Gallery at City Hall (District 3).
  •  Aug. 1, 6 p.m.: Fire Station #7, 8011 Okeechobee Blvd. (District 4).
  • Aug. 2, 6 p.m.: Location to be announced, in the Northwest (District 3).
  • Aug. 3, 6 p.m.: Fire Station #2, 4301 S. Dixie Highway (District 5).

    For more information, contact Budget Manager Linda McDermott at 561-822-1342.

Looking up: West Palm Beach by the numbers

The Bristol (artist’s rendering).

The city has dozens of projects on its wish list that will take years to complete, depending mainly on how money is tapped to pay for them, whether from bonds, state or federal grants or local taxes and fees.

Some of these projects got knocked off this year, from the El Cid dock replacement, to Northwood Street improvement and Tamarind safety and streetscape work. Others are in progress: the Westward Park pump and waterfall replacements, Curie Park dredging, Fire Station No. 4 replacement, and more. Still more are lined up.

The good news from the Finance Department this week is a projection money will continue to roll in from property taxes, which account for 42 percent of West Palm’s revenue.

Here are a few key numbers:

  • $11.8 billion: Value of property in West Palm Beach this year, compared to $11.0 billion in 2016 and $9.9 billion in 2015.
  • $2,373,352,734: Value of recently completed, under construction, approved and potential real estate projects. The more that’s built, the more property tax money is collected to pay for city services.

New residential projects coming on line include The Bristol, valued at $551 billion, and The Alexander, $32.7 million.

New commercial projects include Banyan Cay, $201 million, and Restoration Hardware’s gallery, $14.4 million.

West Palm in push for Tri-state hedge funds

fin-dist-map

They might as well have had the meeting on the dock. The water was sparkling, the sun, shining, the mega-yachts, rocking gently in the breeze. If you wanted to make an impression….

The city and Business Development Board launched a campaign Friday to brand a large swath of downtown as The Flagler Financial District, a bid to lure hedge funds and other financial firms from the chilly Northeast. Along with the geographic designation comes a new website, flaglerfinancialdistrict.com/, boasting of the city’s amenities and an ad campaign set to hit Tri-state trade publications from December through April.

At a meeting at noon in the Lake Pavilion — as close as you can have a waterfront gathering and have air conditioning — Mayor Jeri Muoio was joined by Russell Marcus, chief of business and economic incentives for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; Emily Clifford, chair of the county Business Development Board’s Financial Services Task Force; and Chris Roog, the mayor’s director of economic development.

The district lines stretch from the middle bridge to just north of the north bridge, from Rosemary Avenue on the west to the waterfront.

More details coming in tomorrow’s Palm Beach Post.