Using a sustainability model for Fort Lauderdale’s general funds to solve budget shortfalls in Florida
Fort Lauderdale—home to approximately 270,000 Floridians—is a well-known tourist destination in the Gulf region. Yet, after the financial crash and housing market collapse in 2008, the City had struggled to balance their annual budget. Cost-cutting, cash reserves, and deferral of capital projects were all measures employed, but the City’s financial future was very uncertain.
During a review of their water and wastewater utility financial plan, we introduced the city manager to our financial sustainability model for general funds—something that works much like our FAMS-XL model. After that, the City kept us on to develop a 10-year financial sustainability model. The objective? To help the city commission understand the depth of their financial challenges and develop a plan that would create a sustainable future for the community of Fort Lauderdale.
During projected cash flow deficits that would deplete reserves within several years without changes. During a series of interactive sessions, we worked closely with city staff to comprehend their annual budget process. We identified a two-part solution—a cost reduction and a revenue enhancement—to provide financial sustainability for the 10-year projection period, which we continue to review annually.
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