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Board Retreat Focuses on Polk Priorities

Published on Feb 12, 2021

The Polk County Board of County Commissioners’ annual retreat will have a different look and feel this year as commissioners and county management plan to take a long-term approach to planning for some of the most pressing issues facing the county’s future.

While the format of the one-day meeting will take a similar format as past years, it won’t focus on the county’s constitutional offices, or individual county divisional programs.

County Manager Bill Beasley said during a recent agenda review meeting that he wanted to begin the meeting with a broad overview of the county’s upcoming budget and how to plan for the uncertain fiscal future.

“We need to talk about where we are today in light of our revenue sources,” he said. “Where we are today in light of what we initially projected as the FY2021-2022 ad valorem values and how that may change.”

Through this, Beasley said he wanted to focus on possible strategies going into the budgeting season by looking at the county’s revenue sources, initial projections and how some of that has changed throughout the process.

“I really think it sets the tone for the next year or two perspective for the finance side of the house,” he added.

Beasley also said the remaining portion of the meeting would focus on presentations that would address concerns and planning for transportation infrastructure, sustainable potable water sources, behavioral health challenges and attainable housing challenges.

“My hope with the Board is that we take…a 10- or 20-year perspective,” Beasley said. “What is going to change the tone? What rhythm are we going to set and what vision are we going to set? What are we going to look back 20 years from now and say, what did this board do to put in place things that are going to make a difference in the future for this county?”

The Board retreat will begin at 8 a.m. Feb. 18 at the Lake Myrtle Complex in Auburndale.