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Satellite Beach: We Have No Idea.

It’s not often that you will hear us say this on any subject. We have a wide variety of people with various experiences here at Raised on Hoecakes, and so it is unusual for us to come up a situation where we say “Huh?”

Such is the case with Satellite Beach and tonight’s meeting on both the Budget Workshop at 5:00 PM (agenda and packet) and a Regular meeting at 7:00 PM. (agenda and packet)

What caught our eye was agenda item 10 which reads:

DISCUSS/TAKE ACTION ON RESOLUTION NO. 1013, A RESOLUTION OF THECITY OF SATELLITE BEACH, BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF NOT TO EXCEED $1,463,000 PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF CITY OF SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA HALF-CENT SALES TAX REVENUE NOTE, SERIES 2019 FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING VARIOUS CAPITAL PROJECTS AS MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED HEREIN; PLEDGING HALF-CENT SALES TAX REVENUES TO SECURE PAYMENT OF THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST OF SUCH NOTE; MAKING SUCH DETERMINATIONS AS ARE REQUIRED TO AFFORD SUCH NOTE “BANK QUALIFIED” STATUS; MAKING CERTAIN COVENANTS AND AGREEMENTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE HOLDER OF SUCH NOTE; AUTHORIZING CERTAIN OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE CITY TO TAKE ALL ACTIONS REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE, ISSUANCE AND DELIVERY OF SUCH NOTE; MAKING CERTAIN COVENANTS AND AGREEMENTS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE

We are unsure of any “half cent sales tax revenues” that would fund this bond. That doesn’t mean it isn’t out there, but we have never seen it or seen something like this called that.

Here is the information from the packet, and if you read it, you’ll see that the language only adds to the confusion of a layperson or regular citizen.

In our limited understanding of this, the City receives revenues of one half a cent on sales tax charged by a local government, in this case the County. (see Florida Statutes Chapter 218.) (As we said, we aren’t sure.)

In this case, the City wants to take a portion of that money and use it to pay off a 15 year bond they are creating for a “wish list” of projects.

Of course, that means that the City has to “back fill” to cover the funds in the regular budget. This year, while the proposed millage rate is going down, the amount of revenue from citizens is rising given the fact that property values are increasing.

What is troubling to us as well is the amount of debt load the City is carrying. According to the proposed budget page 41:

On a $13,462,221, the City has debt commitments of $10,184,653 or 75.65% of the yearly budget.

We hate to say this, but there is nothing within the summary of this bond issue that requires a bond. The stated items can be purchased within a capital improvement budget and prioritization without saddling the citizens with more debt and more money going out the door in interest payments.


Item 8 caught our eye as the City is looking to approve the purchase of a pontoon boat for transportation to Samson’s Island.

The boat that is being replaced was purchased less than 10 years ago by the City. The summary of the agenda item says:

Recently the City’s existing pontoon boat was removed from the water to undergo maintenance and improvements. This boat is used regularly for maintenance and to transport visitors out to Samsons Island on a weekly basis. Once the boat was out of the water, it was determined that the aluminum had begun corroding beneath the bottom paint in many places and that the condition of the pontoons was not worth repairing.

Begun corroding beneath the bottom paint? How the heck is that possible?

There are pontoon boats out there that are 25 plus years old. The aluminum does not corrode on those boat that 1) have “anti-fouling paint” on them and 2) have the correct anti-fouling paint on them.

Aluminum and salt water have a “galvanic” reaction with each other. In essence, the aluminum and salt water create a small electrical charge which eats away at the aluminum. To prevent that, the anti fouling paint must contain copper. With copper anti-fouling paint, the galvanic reaction is between the copper in the paint and the salt water. The aluminum is left alone.

We have no idea how an aluminum boat with the correct anti fouling paint could corrode. We have talked to pontoon boat owners, surveyed pontoon boat forums, etc and they all say the same thing: if you use the correct anti-fouling paint, the pontoons will last forever.

Apparently that doesn’t apply to Satellite Beach.

Hope you attend the meeting and make your voices heard.



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