Later this month the Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services Community Development District will hold a public hearing and vote on the budget for fiscal year 2017.

Looking over the tentative budget, there aren’t any real surprises to report.

The GSCDD expects to bring in $2.3 million in assessments, along with $4.3 million from water and sewage services. The district is also expecting a $3 million loan according to the budget documents.

How will they spend that money? For starters, the district will have 13 full-time and 3 part-time employees. The staffing plan is expected to cost the district $817,000 in FY2017, which is an increase of 4% compared to FY2016.

The board, Operations Manager and District Manager are not considered district staff and thus not counted in those figures. The Supervisors are each paid $200 per meeting, which is the maximum amount allowed by Florida law. The Ops and District Managers are employees of Severn Trent.

Nearly $3.4 million is budgeted to be spent on the Lake Bank Restoration Project in FY2017. This is by far the largest amount spent in one year on the ponds, however Gateway residents should expect multi-million dollar lake expenses for the next few years. The $3 million loan will go directly to the lakes.

The soccer fields and parks are expected to cost residents $282,000 in FY2017, while the Gateway Commons Pool will cost $189,000 to operate. Landscaping costs are budgeted at $919,000 for the year.

Waterway Management Services are budgeted at $495,000 in the fiscal year. These costs include maintaining the lakes and wetlands, aquascaping, littoral plant maintenance – along with $1,000 for the Grass Carp Program.

And some good news: as a result of turning over ownership of Gateway’s main to Lee County, roadway expenditures will drop from $540,000 in FY2016 to just $23,000 in FY2017.

It’s a pretty cut and dry budget. Although the $3.4 million price tag of the Lake Bank Repair Project in FY2017 alone may surprise some residents, it was fully expected.

In December 2015, the Gateway Sun predicted assessments would rise over 20% in FY2017, however they are only rising 17.88% for most Gateway homeowners. You can probably expect another 15-20% increase next year as well.

The public hearing on the budget will be held August 18, 2016, and the Supervisors are expected to vote on the budget at that time.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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