Annual Report 2018
Coastal Community Resiliency & Turnbull Creek Bonds
In January 2018, the City of New Smyrna Beach started a year-long Coastal Community Resiliency (CCR) initiative to engage its residents on topics ranging from environmental and cultural resources, growth and development, social equity, public safety, economic development, parks and recreation, tourism, and transportation. Attendance at these monthly sessions was outstanding, with one having hosted over 315 participants. Numerous initiatives resulting from input received have been considered and are moving forward.
An example of one major item that directly resulted from public input received at February’s Environment and Cultural Resources session and March’s Growth and Development session was the Turnbull Creek Water Quality, Wildlife Habitat, and Natural Areas Protection Bonds municipal referendum. One of the recurring issues heard from residents at these sessions was how to preserve and protect the future of New Smyrna Beach from overdevelopment, preserving historical resources, and improving water quality. In June, a report authored by leading state environmental groups on the six key values to tackle Florida’s environmental challenges titled Trouble in Paradise, which lauded land conservation as its #1 option, was released. In the same month, the withdrawal of a half-cent sales tax ballot initiative presented an opportunity to add a local ballot initiative to protect part of the 578 acres of environmentally sensitive land along the Turnbull Creek watershed from future development by acquiring them using general obligation bonds to instead set aside for conservation in perpetuity.
Voters in New Smyrna Beach ultimately agreed, approving the Turnbull Creek Water Quality, Wildlife Habitat, and Natural Areas Protection Bonds by over 75 percent. Strict accountability measures will ensure funds are properly spent and full public disclosure of all spending will be part of the City’s annual, independent audit. City funds may also be matched by funds from the Florida Communities Trust’s “Florida Forever” program, the state, and Volusia County, which would serve to further amplify efforts toward land conservation and environmental protection.
NSB Police Department
In 2018, the New Smyrna Beach Police Department (NSBPD) continued pushing forward with the Intelligence Led Policing program. This has resulted in the timely sharing of information across jurisdictional lines, to which agencies are tethered but criminals regularly move across. In addition to the solving of crimes in NSB and neighboring agencies, this has helped officers become familiar with repeat offenders enabling the prevention of future crimes.
The Victim Advocate division of the PD is a critical component that provides invaluable services to the citizens of NSB. They are called upon to provide guidance, comfort, and support during traumatic, life altering events. This year, the Victim Advocates have focused on providing resources and services to the homeless population within the city. An initiative was developed that paired a Victim Advocate with a patrol officer who then responded to known transient camps throughout the city to determine how we might assist those citizens with getting back on their feet. Several homeless citizens were partnered with churches, the United Way, and other charity organizations. This was an effort to provide non-traditional law enforcement assistance by essentially linking the needs of the homeless directly to a provider.
NSB Fire Department
In 2018, the New Smyrna Beach Fire Department (NSBFD) responded to a total of 5,471 calls, 101 fires, 2,277 medical emergencies, and transported 947 people to the hospital. In partnership with the NSBPD, they developed response procedures for active shooter events and mass casualty incidents. These procedures are now utilized by all other departments in Southeast Volusia County. Through a cooperative agreement with the Florida Forest Service, the department took over the permitting of all burning for the purpose of land clearing and established more stringent requirements than those required by the state. Following the landfall of Hurricane Michael in the panhandle, the NSBFD deployed two fire engines, one ambulance, and eight firefighters with Strike Team 502 to assist with recovery efforts in the region. Under the Declaration of Emergency, crews dedicated 1,937 hours to clearing roads, extinguishing residential fires, and transporting patients from impacted hospitals to operating facilities.
NSB Community Outreach
Our employees care! City staff made outstanding contributions to a wide variety of important causes in 2018. New Smyrna Beach handily placed first among all cities in Volusia County for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s “Feed the Need” food drive by collectively donating 11,346 pounds of food. Other efforts include the Police Department’s collection of pet food donations and participation in Operation Christmas Cheer which collected unwrapped toys for disadvantaged children. The Fire Department raised awareness of issues surrounding breast cancer by selling and wearing pink T-shirts during the month of October. Other city-wide efforts included participation in the Rotary Club’s food drive, Miracle League sports at the NSB Sports Complex, our Annual Seniors Holiday Luncheon at the Alonzo “Babe” James Community Center, and feeding the homeless through the Connecting Through Conversation and Food program.
"Balance." I hear this word often when I speak to the citizens of New Smyrna Beach, regardless of the issue at hand. Working together we must balance what is profitable for both our diverse neighborhoods and our local businesses. We must balance what is beneficial for both families who have lived here across multiple generations and the overnight guests who drive our economy. We must balance what is good for both our high school seniors and senior citizens alike.
For each of these, I believe what is needed is a balance of progress and preservation. Progress is needed in diversifying our economic base to offer in-demand, high-paying, and fulfilling careers for our residents. However, this progress must be made smartly, and no tat the expense of the small-town charm and beautiful natural environment that brought many of us here in the first place.
I have great admiration for the citizens and business owners of New Smyrna Beach, who have been highly engaged in providing feedback on the most important issues they feel are facing our fair city. Most recently, hundreds of residents committed to participating in our yearlong series of Coastal Community Resiliency sessions, where they generously took time our of their busy days to listen to subject matter experts and weigh in on a broad range of topics.
Our community has also proven they are willing to do more than just talk--they have provided the City with the means to take bold action. The overwhelming support by voters of the Turnbull Creek Water Quality, Wildlife Habitat, and Natural Areas Protection Bonds is the latest such example. This initiative allows the City Commission to acquire up to $15 million of environmentally sensitive lands to be conserved in perpetuity.
In the upcoming year, under the leadership of the City Commission and with continued input from the community, New Smyrna Beach will handle unforeseen challenges and work diligently to take action on long-standing problems. We have opportunities we can capture, and we have community values and treasures worth preserving. We will move our city ahead this year with a balance of progress and preservation.
In the second full year of operation, the Brannon Center continues to increase bookings and revenue, nearly doubling building usage over the previous year.
The Brannon Center has seen a wider range of community organizers renting the facility, as well as local and regional associations. We continue to host fundraising events and galas benefitting area charities and hospitals, including Florida Hospital’s Holiday Charity Ball, the Atlantic Center for the Arts’ “Horsin’ Around,” and IMAGES: A Festival of the Arts. In addition, our business community continues to deliver meetings, seminars, and family events to the Brannon Center including Boston Whaler, EdgeWater and Everglades Boats, Berlin and Denys, and many more. Finally, new bookings including Chisholm High School’s Reunion Celebration “Unity is our Strength” and the Diwali Festival of Lights capped off a banner year!
Mayor Russ Owen presented the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of New Smyrna Beach’s Finance Department during the City Commission regular meeting on November 13, 2018. Of note, this is the 42nd year in a row for the Government Finance Officers Association award to the City.
Photo, from left: Account Technician II Kim Bressett, A/P Administrator Jeri Mahoney, Finance Director Lewie Wise, Accountant Cathleen Kirby, Account Technician I Ellen Miller, Mayor Russ Owen, Carole Wimmer
Revenue Summary 2017-2018 (estimated)
- Tax revenue $22,047,223 (30.3% of revenue)
- Licenses and permits $2,403,111 (3.3% of revenue)
- Intergovernmental revenue $9,070,052 (12.5% of revenue)
- Charges for services $15,867,482 (21.8% of revenue)
- Fines and forfeitures $168,577 (0.2% of revenue)
- Miscellaneous revenue $977,893 (1.3% of revenue)
- Transfers $8,852,160 (12.2% of revenue)
- Appropriated Fund Balance $13,358,476 (18.4% of revenue)
- Total Revenue $72,744,974
Fund Summary 2017-2018 (estimated)
- General Fund $30,744,972
- Stormwater Fund $13,876,928
- Special Law Enforcement Trust Fund $51,000
- Airport Fund $5,677,935
- Impact Fee Funds $1,108,000
- Building and Inspection Fund $2,944,097
- Parking Fund $1,052,346
- New Community Redevelopment Fund $439,509
- Debt Service Fund $3,026,316
- Capital Projects Fund $4,518,688
- Golf Course Fund $1,537,577
- Sanitation Fund $6,271,575
- Marina Fund $488,559
- Fleet Fund $1,007,472
- Total Actuals $72,744,974
The estimated 2017-18 budget is from the FY 2018-19 adopted budget. The City publishes a Comprehensive Financial Report every year containing detailed information on revenue and expenditures. The next report (available in March 2019) and past reports are available online at cityofnsb.com/finance
Leisure Services was successful in obtaining a Volusia County ECHO grant to help contribute half of the construction cost for a new Splash Park at the Alonzo “Babe” James Community Center. This new project will add a splash pad, picnic benches, and restrooms to the existing playground.
The 2018 Coastal Community Resiliency Parks and Recreation session was held on August 21 and City staff has taken the 400 surveys and direct input received onboard, as we have already begun implementing your recommendations.
For example, the City’s Leisure Services Department, in partnership with The HUB on Canal, has started a weekly after-school Fashion Club program for middle and high school students. These budding fashionistas meet every week for and are learning about all aspects of the fashion industry. They have already learned how to create fashion vision boards, unique jewelry, messenger bags, and scarves. In addition, these students will gain exposure to owning and operating a small business and attend a trade show.
Leisure Services, in partnership with Atlantic Center for the Arts, will also be providing a free 10-week STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) program for teenagers beginning in January at the Alonzo “Babe” James Community Center. There they will learn more about these disciplines in fun and creative ways to get a head-start on building the critical and in-demand skills our future will demand.
Holland Park opened in May and includes 13 acres of pristine hardwoods and 18 acres of water. Recreational uses include parking areas, a covered picnic pavilion, bike racks, restrooms, a walking trail, and an additional access point to the 2.2 miles long New Smyrna Beach Multi-Use Trail. On December 15, a new 9-hole disc golf course designed and constructed as part of a public-private partnership with the New Smyrna Beach Disc Golf was completed to great fanfare and interest from enthusiasts of the rapidly growing sport.
New Smyrna Beach became only the second city in Florida to be recognized as a “Monarch Butterfly City” on April 11 to promote the planting of milkweed plants throughout the City, which assist butterflies as they journey through the state during their annual migration. Milkweed has been planted in the City’s Community Garden at 505 Mary Avenue and free milkweed seeds are available for interested residents. For more information, please call (386) 424-2207.
The City also earned the prestigious “Tree City USA” designation from the Arbor Day Foundation on October 25. Our Arbor Day Celebration was held on April 27 in Old Fort Park, where the City gave away two live trees—live oak or sweet gum trees—to each resident.
Currently, we are seeking to partner with a renewable energy consulting firm to evaluate the feasibility of installing solar panels and other systems on 17 public facilities to reduce the City’s overall carbon footprint.
Finally, shades are coming! The City will be adding shade structures over the Riverside Park and 27th Avenue Park playgrounds in the coming year.
Provided assistance to enterprise, including:
- Planning staff meetings for buyer of former Chevrolet dealership on US 1.
- Information to Taylor Storage developer on US 1 and Industrial Park Drive.
- Finance sourcing to two businesses for a building on Magnolia Street.
- Information to the owner of industrial building on Industrial Drive.
- Information to two dozen other business representatives seeking to locate in NSB.
- Site and regulatory information to six local business owners planning to expand.
- Free business resource contacts to over 50 businesses on US 1.
- Facilitation of the US 1 Business Development Group, which provides information to business owners and managers at monthly meetings. Speakers have included representatives from Code Enforcement, Maintenance Operations, and SCORE.
- Facilitation of the Second Wednesday Club, which provides information to entrepreneurs and startups at monthly meetings. Speakers have included established small business owners and a former college professor.
- Preparation of a monthly Economic Development Newsletter, which includes a list of free business resources. The newsletter is posted on the City website and e-mailed to over 220 subscribers. If interested, please sign up at cityofnsb.com today!
Participated in affordable housing activities, including:
- Coordination with the New Smyrna Beach Housing Authority to prepare a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and City Commission agenda item for support of a proposed 80-unit senior apartment complex on Greenlawn Street. Purchase of four parcels adjacent to the northeast corner of Dimmick and Julia Street to donate with another purchased in 2017 to the New Smyrna Beach Housing Authority for the future development of affordable rental housing.
- Contributed to regional marketing efforts, including:
- Southeast Volusia Marketing Initiative’s preparation of new website promoting the area.
- Team Volusia’s efforts to market our area to high-technology and aerospace industry.
- Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center’s support of entrepreneurs, which is an important part of the City’s economic development strategy. The City of New Smyrna Beach, as a member of FLVEC, provides entrepreneurs with resources and space on a website for a company profile, which lead to both marketing and networking opportunities. To date, 18 local entrepreneurs are listed.
- New tennis & pickleball courts on Pettis Park
- NSB Housing Authority Community Resource Center
- New security wall at Mary Ave Tot Lot
Capital Improvement Projects
- The City Gym, having undergone a thorough refresh of its facilities and amenities, will come back online for public use in early 2019.
- A massive $11.6 million project to replace water and sewer systems and fix and pave roads in the neighborhood of Islesboro improved local flood resilience.
- Mayor Jim Hathaway cut the ribbon on Holland Park with Commissioners, City Staff, and residents on June 2.
- The new Live Oak Cultural Center at Live Oak $ 3rd Street, slated for completion in early 2019, will hose a variety of Council on Aging programs in concert with the Atlantic Center for the Arts.