Proposed Budget Review Set as Fire Assessment is Discussed

A thorough review of Cooper City’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 is set for the next City Commission Regular Meeting on Tuesday, August 24, starting at 6:30 PM at City Hall.

City Manager Joseph Napoli will be submitting the proposed budget for 2022 to the City Commission by Sunday, August 15.  Cooper City’s elected officials are prepared to examine the numbers “line by line."

During the last City Commission meeting on Tuesday, August 10, the cap set on the upcoming fire assessment was discussed at the top of the meeting.  On July 27, the City Commission set a tentative millage rate and also voted 3-2 to set the cap on the FY 2022 fire assessment at 65% with no exemptions being applied to nonprofits, exempt government, and vacant land, at this current time.  This means that, at a minimum, the City will pay 35% of the costs associated with fire services, facilities or programs.  Assessed properties located within Cooper City would pay for the remaining 65%, if the City Commission does not lower the cap during an upcoming public hearing in September.  It is important that all residents understand that the City Commission cannot raise the fire assessment to anything higher than 65% and can still vote to reinstate exemptions. 

Paul Volan, Executive Pastor for The Pentecostals of Cooper City, addressed his concerns during the last City Commission by providing information on the services his organization provides for the community and by saying, “I encourage you to reinstate the nonprofit fire assessment exemption.”  During the July 27 Commission Meeting, Commissioners Jeff Green and Massimo “Max” Pulcini supported immediately reinstating exemptions for nonprofit organizations.  Mayor Greg Ross and Commissioners Howard Meltzer and Ryan Shrouder have cited the need to review the City’s proposed budget, before making a decision on exemptions.  As Commissioner Shrouder stated during the August 10 meeting in regard to the exemptions, “it’s not that we erased them, we put it in play.”  Commissioner Shrouder also addressed his stance on examining commercial and residential properties with nonprofit status, while going into detail on other matters concerning exemptions to the fire assessment (You can watch the entire discussion related to this topic within the video included on this page).

The City Commission also reminded residents that the cost for contract services with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which are up for renewal, is expected to rise by $1 million in comparison to Fiscal Year 2021.  Mayor Greg Ross followed Commissioner Shrouder’s reminder by saying it is “embarrassing” for the Broward Sheriff’s Office that he has been unable to secure a meeting with Sheriff Gregory Tony or top officials at BSO to discuss contractual matters.

In the meantime, it is important for Cooper City residents and stakeholders to know that they will have an opportunity to bring questions and concerns forward during a Millage and Budget Public Hearing on Monday, September 13, starting at 6:30 PM at City Hall located at 9090 SW 50 Place, Cooper City, FL 33328.