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 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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