Leesburg Current Newsletter (Oct. - Dec. 2021)

Current Newsletter Header Graphic - October - December 2021 Edition

Budget Highlights for Fiscal Year 2022

The City Commission and staff have worked diligently to establish the annual operating budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which begins on October 1, 2021.  This year’s budget totals approximately $176,293,255, an increase of $8,133,411 (5%) from FY 2021.  The increase is attributable to growth and additional utility sales.  

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Of the total budget, the General Fund comprises about $28,178,392 or 16% of all the services provided by the City.  It is most recognized for governmental services which include police, fire, library, streets maintenance, parks and recreational programs.  To provide these services, the FY 22 proposes a roll back tax rate of 4.0192 mills and continues to provide the same level of services.  

The Enterprise Funds, made up of water, sewer, solid waste, gas and electric services, total nearly $112 million, compared to FY 21’s $108 million.  Providing utility services to the Leesburg region makes up the majority of the City’s operations.  In fact, the single largest annual expense is the purchase of energy from the Florida Municipal Power Agency which is $39 million – almost 22% of the entire budget.  

The City Commission’s progressive goals and fiscal responsibility have earned the City recognition from the Government Finance Officers Association for 23 consecutive years.


Building Department Introduces New Permitting System

The Building Department began utilizing a new permitting tool on September 1st.  OPRS, a Perconti CD Plus software, is the same system used by Lake County with just a few permit differences specific to our City.  All Permit Applications can now be submitted using your computer.  Contractors are able to apply, pay, download all documents, schedule inspections, track all permits and obtain Certificates of Occupancy…all online!  Owner/Builders can do most of the same, in keeping with Florida Statutes. 
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Although completing the process online is faster, staff is still happy to provide assistance at the counter if you prefer paper plans and permits.  We can even help you utilize the best of both methods to enhance the permit experience.  Our team has worked hard to streamline our system and help process your permits faster, with greater ease for everyone involved while also improving overall customer service. 

First time users can get an introduction to OPRS through a video created by the City of Palm Coast, a long-time customer of Perconti Data Systems.  It is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_Gv8m3YgYM.

For more information, please visit us online at www.LeesburgFlorida.gov/Building.

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Do you Close Before You Doze?  
A message from the Leesburg Fire Department

Did you know that something as easy as closing your bedroom door at night could save your life?  This simple act can provide critical help in delaying the spread of fire.  Check out these facts and remember – Close Before You Doze.  

  • A closed door can mean reducing 1,000 degrees down to 100 degrees.
  • During a fire, a closed door can keep carbon monoxide levClose Before You Doze Graphicels at 1,000 PPM versus 10,000 PPM if the door is left open.
  • A fire needs oxygen to burn. A closed door keeps more oxygen 
  • in the room and away from the fire. 
  • 50% of home fire deaths happen between 11pm and 7am. Closing your doors before you hit the hay helps keep you safe.

Once a Week Watering Begins on November 7th  

Falling back to Eastern Standard Time brings with it the return of once a week lawn watering.  Starting on November 7th, Leesburg water customers can only irrigate their lawns one day per week, before 10:00am and after 4:00pm.    

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Addresses ending in an odd number or homes without an address may only irrigate on SaturdayAddresses ending in an even number must irrigate on Sunday.  Nonresidential properties may irrigate on Tuesday.  

Remember to always conserve whenever possible.  It’s good for our environment and it’s also good for your wallet – the less you use, the more you save.  

If you need assistance programming your irrigation controller, please call Rachel Novak at 352-435-9442.


Recreation Department News

 Start Smart Sports Development for children ages 3-5 and 6-8 will be open forSports Balls Graphic registration December 1st – January 15th.  This is an instructional program to introduce children to organized sports.   Groups will meet once a week for six weeks.   

Sign-ups for Youth Basketball are now open. Bitty Ball Basketball registration (ages 5-6) is September thru October. Junior Basketball (ages 7-9) and Hot Shots (ages 10-12) can register October thru January.  

Rec N Saturday Events:  October 28-31 - Haunted House at the gymnasium.  All ages welcome.  Admission is $5 per person.   
November 13th - Spades Tournament. Cards, food, drinks and music.  Prizes for top three places.  Cost is $10 per person.  

Light Up Venetian Gardens and Boat Parade:  December 5th, with holiday music, food trucks and hay rides starting at 5:00pm.  Lighting ceremony at 6:00pm and Boat Parade at 6:15pm.  For info on Light Up activities call the Rec Department at 352-728-9885.  To enter the Boat Parade contact Fred O’Brien at 352-326-8274.   

Breakfast with Santa:  December 18th, 9:00am-11:00am.  Space is limited to the first 100 guests.  Deadline for pre-sale tickets is December 16th.  Cost is $7.00 for pre-sale or $10.00 at the door if available.    

Adult Co-Ed Soccer:  7v7 league.  Must provide your own team jersey.  Minimum 2 females per team. Registration opens in November.  Games start in January.  $35 per player.  

For more information and to register for activities, please contact the Recreation Department at 352-728-9885 or visit www.LeesburgFlorida.gov/Recreation.


Check Out the Leesburg Library!
 

Leesburg Public Library LogoThere is so much to do at the Library this fall. Here are a few highlights.  For more, visit www.LeesburgFlorida.gov/Library.  

Love BIG trucks?! REALLY BIG trucks? We do too! Come to the library on October 19th at 10:00am when the City of Leesburg will be parking their biggest trucks with the coolest equipment for you to explore. No registration required.  

Seniors or caregivers can get help with Medicare and health insurance issues.  On the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 9:30am–11:30am, one-on-one discussions with a SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) volunteer are available (first come, first served).  No appointment needed.  

Get individual help applying for Medicaid, food stamps and/or temporary cash assistance.  Each month, volunteer help is available on the 2nd and last Tuesdays from 10:00am–12:00pm on a first come, first served basis.  No appointment needed.

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