Posted: Aug 12, 2016 6:25 PM EDT Updated: Aug 12, 2016 6:56 PM EDT
By Devin Turk, Collier County Reporter
We're getting our first look at next year's proposed Naples city budget, which includes a bump up of $19 million from last year.
The expenditures total $144.3 million.
Naples City Manager William Moss said the 15-percent budget increase is coming from increased property values, borrowing money, and using savings from prior years.
"I think our citizens expect and demand a high level of service, and we intend to give that to them," Moss said.
The proposed $19 million increase would go toward projects like Baker Park, a new fire station, and new city dock. City council will also discuss whether they should spend $1.46 million for tree pruning, an increase of $875,000 from last year.
"Well, I think it's a lot of money to be honest with you, but one of the beautiful things of Naples and especially old Naples is the way it's maintained," said Jerry Kraft, manager of the store Bruno in Naples.
"If they want to spend money to prune the trees, I think it's well worth it. The trees look beautiful, our medians look wonderful," said resident Gene Luciano.
Moss said the city has to manage more than 20,000 trees with many in difficult environments.
"Just like anybody's landscaping, we have to maintain landscaping. Only the cities is on a very large scale," he said.
City council has until October 1st to adopt the budget. There will be two public hearings on it in September.