Special City Council - August 17, 2023

City Council 

Special Meeting

August 17, 2023


The Titusville City Council met in special session on Thursday, August 17, 2023 in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 555 South Washington Avenue, Titusville, Florida. The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. 


Those present included Mayor Daniel E. Diesel, Vice-Mayor Joe C. Robinson (arrived at 5:15 p.m.), and City Council Members Herman A. Cole, Jr., Col USAF Retired and Jo Lynn Nelson. 


City Council Member Dr. Sarah Stoeckel participated by telephone. 


Also in attendance were City Manager Scott Larese, City Attorney Richard Broome, City Clerk Wanda Wells, and the City’s Executive Leadership Team (department heads) or their designees. Assistant City Clerk Jolynn Donhoff completed the minutes. 


Mayor Diesel requested a moment of silence and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. City Clerk Wanda Wells read the procedures for public comment and participation. 


The purpose of the special City Council meeting was to hold a workshop on the pending Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget. 



Staff Presentation – City Manager Larese gave a presentation on the following information:


  • Budget workshop agenda and format
  • City Manager’s responsibilities under Section 30(4) of the City Charter
  • The City’s vision and mission statements
  • The FY 2024 Strategic Plan Goals and Priorities 
  • FY 2024 Budget environment
  • FY 2024 Budget priorities
  • FY 2024 Budget highlights, all funds proposed revenues (histogram), and all funds expenditures (pie chart)
  • FY 2024 organization and staffing, proposed organizational chart for FY 2024, total staffing levels, and proposed full time employee (FTE) changes
  • Budget highlights by fund
  • General Fund


  1. General Fund and proposed budgeted revenues for FY 2024 (pie chart)
  2. Property tax values, operating millage rate, ad valorem revenues (line graphs)
  3. General Fund Millage Rate
  4. Developments since publishing the proposed FY2024 Budget
  5. Ad valorem per resident comparisons
  6. Millage Comparisons
  7. General Fund Revenues 
  8. FY 2024 General Fund Expenditures (pie chart)
  • Special Revenue Funds
  1. Forfeiture Fund
  2. Impact Fee Fund
  3. Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Revenues and Expenditures
  4. Building Inspection Fund


  • Debt Service Funds
  • Capital Project Funds
  • General Construction Fund
  • Road and Streets Fund
  • Road Resurfacing Program
  • Enterprise Funds


  1. Solid Waste: revenues and expenses
  2. Stormwater revenues, expenses, and Capital Fund
  3. Stormwater and Solid Waste Rate Proposals
  4. Stormwater rate comparison (single family)
  5. Solid Waste Rate Comparison for residential and commercial
  6. Marina revenues and expenses


  • Water and Wastewater revenues, expenses, Capital Fund
  • Water and Wastewater Rate Proposals, rate comparison (residential)
  • Internal Service Funds
  • Health Care Trends
  • Capital Outlay
  • Capital Equipment
  • Information Technology Capital Equipment
  • Vehicles
  • FY 2024 Unfunded priorities 
  • FY 2024 budget considerations and options for the Council to consider at the upcoming public hearings in September 2023
  • Next steps, including public comment, Council discussion, respond to outstanding issues, and hold the public hearings on the FY 2024 budget that were scheduled for the special City Council meetings on September 6, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. and September 21, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Council was scheduled to adopt the annual budget on September 21, 2023 at a meeting commencing at 5:30 p.m.




Petitions from the Public Present – Kay St. Onge distributed information. She read from a prepared statement that indicated a request for Council to implement a proposed Urban Forestry Program and funding of $102,768 ($2 per capita) in the FY 2024 budget for tree planting costs. 


Member Nelson desired knowing whether grant funding opportunities were available for planting trees. Public Works Director Kevin Cook advised the cost for staff labor and to maintain trees off of roadways for the suggested program would far exceed $100,000 per year. He advised staff almost constantly trimmed trees back and away from roads—a safety requirement. Trees were also removed when they damaged infrastructure or fell down. The City did not have a tree maintenance fund or a capital project fund for the plan requested by the citizen. 


Member Nelson desired two projects, which were keeping Scobie Park and Sand Point Park clean. 


Mayor Diesel was interested in having a tree canopy in the City and stated that trees were important. 



Stan Johnston stated that the City was experiencing prosperity. For this reason, he desired the Council to appropriate funding toward correcting issues related to the 4-log Virus and contaminating water, upgrading the system for recycling water (a grant), and appropriate funding to hire a professional engineer to dispute his concerns and complaints about sewer and other matters. 



Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Workshop – The request was for City Council to have discussion on the appropriation of Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Budget based on a proposed millage rate of $6.7945 mils. 


Vice-Mayor Robinson and staff discussed his questions on the City Manager’s presentation, including Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) expenditures, road resurfacing program, etc. 


Mayor Diesel stated that the proposed budget did not provide for any frivolous spending. He also stated that the budget included funding for “must do items” related to costs for public safety, road re-paving, Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB), cost of living adjustments (COLA), etc. He advised the Marina was a success story and it was making money. Inflation had risen sharply over the past few years and it was driving up the cost of everything; however, he was pleased the tentative propose millage rate was the lowest it had been in 15-years, which would ease cost burdens on citizens. 


In addition, Mayor Diesel stated that the City was presently prospering. He also desired learning more on the Urban Forestry Program, knowing what the City “could do”, etc. 


Member Nelson felt good about the current proposed budget. She discussed an economic recession of several years ago, when costs related to providing services and enough staff were difficult. Member Nelson also commended and attributed the City’s financial recovery and success in part to the City Manager. City Manager Larese also credited the City’s Executive Leadership Team and staff. Mayor Diesel and Member Cole supported these comments. 


Member Stoeckel summarized the Council could not adopt a millage rate higher than what was tentatively adopted (Florida Statute policy). She was also happy the proposed tentative millage rate was the lowest in 15-years. She attributed this to an increase in property values and economic growth (also discussed by Mayor Diesel). 


Member Stoeckel and City Manager Larese also discussed her questions on the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and the Council having flexibility to adjust or move funds within the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) budget during the budget year. The subject or example used during these questions were related to State funding of approximately $165,000 for a Trail Town Amenity Program and funding from the CRA. 


Member Stoeckel commented on recent praise at the Florida League of Cities Annual Conference and someone complimenting the City’s new grant coordinator. Maximizing all possible grant funding to offset costs was important to her and the City’s goals. 


Finally, Member Stoeckel commented on balancing the Strategic Plan Goal of Quality of Life with smart growth, while keeping natural resources, and having the appropriate infrastructure in place. 


Vice-Mayor Robinson desired not having any debt service and for what debt the City did have, he desired paying and closing the debt service during the next few years (or as currently scheduled). 


Mayor Diesel and City Manager Larese briefly reviewed the next steps. The next steps were to hold the public hearings and special City Council meetings on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget scheduled for September 6, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. and September 21, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. 


Assistant City Manager Thomas Abbate advised the City’s rate consultant would also provide information on the City’s water and wastewater and financial forecast at an upcoming regular City Council meeting for special recognitions and presentations (August 22, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.). 




With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 5:55 p.m.