Orlando finds $12 million to plug budget hole

Orlando finds $12 million to plug budget hole

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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says he won't be proposing a tax hike this year, and the city has solved its $12 million budget hole by finding some savings. He says the city basically did not spend almost $7 million this year it had budgeted, and can do the exact same thing next year.

"We anticipate by holding vacancies open longer, it will reduce the amount of expenditures we make."

The budget seemed to have few frills in it when provided to City Council on Monday. Noticeably absent are Mayor Dyer's two biggest wants for the future, a new soccer only stadium in Parramore and a new police headquarters.

"The soccer stadium would be largely using other funds than city funds when we've already purchased most of the land."

The mayor wants to put a new police headquarters at the old Lynx bus depot at South Street and Orange Blossom Trail.

"I don't know that we will be moving forward with that this next fiscal year in any event."

The city would need a new headquarters for OPD if the Orlando Magic buy the land surrounding the current headquarters at Central and Hughey. The Magic are doing this business as SED and the Mayor says the deal is complicated.

"We're still in negotiations with Lynx over a potential land swap. We're still in negotiations or discussions with SED over the redevelopment."

The Magic would build a new corporate headquarters and entertainment complex on the current site, with the possibility of a hotel directly across the street from the Amway Center. Dyer says a new police headquarters would not necessarily show up in next year's budget either.

"We're going to fund a large percentage of that based on energy savings over a period of years."

The city would likely have to borrow the money to build the headquarters.  Dyer hopes to have all the work on the potential Magic and police headquarters deal done in the next 6 months.

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