All action items on the agenda were approved, including the fiscal year 2014 budget, the levying of ad valorem taxes, and a millage rate of .5000 for 2014. The 2014 budget includes an operating budget of $63,668,388 and a capital budget of $22.7 million.
HART's 10-year FY2014-FY2023 Transit Development Plan (TDP) was also approved. HART is required to submit a TDP to the Florida Department of Transportation to be eligible for State Block Grant funding, of which HART hopes to receive more than $4 million within the next fiscal year.
FY2014 budget goals were established based on the reality of available resources, providing a stable foundation for the next five years.
- Maintain current service levels - support continued increases in ridership.
- Provide enhancements to selected current services
- Review the ability to provide Saturday, expanded weekday, midnight, and Sunday service to several key routes
- Enhance routes when enhancement does not require additional buses
Thanks to a continued internal cost-cutting effort, HART staff managed to trim expenses and save $1.2 million to be reinvested into HART services.
- Focus on internal support Level of Service scenarios
- Perform an aggressive expenditure review
- Reinvestment of savings, to add $1.2 million of enhancements to current non-peak hour service (enhancements to 8 routes)
Despite increased needs and only slight increases in revenue, HART's FY2014 proposed budget accomplishes several significant value-adding goals.