WILDWOOD APPROVES A ZERO-TAX INCREASE

Expect Wildwood to go forward with its layoff plan. City Commission approved its new budget, which includes layoffs to over 40 employees, including more than 20 in public safety. The city will not have a tax increase, but had to come with $600,000 in order to do that. The commission announced that it has had to hold off on leasing the back bay solar project. It was anticipated to bring in $600,000, but some companies wished to get additional time.

Mayor Gary DeMarzo told Coastal Broadcasting that additional money that is brought in through the solar bay project would be used to bring back employees. Many residents and public safety employees spoke out against the layoffs, saying they would make Wildwood an unsafe place to live in. During the meeting and investigation into a stabbing Wildwood was taking place. There was only one person from the Fire Department who could respond as an EMT to the stabbing, because two other employees were responding to a separate call.

Some of the $600,000 was found through the capital fund balance. Additional savings were rendered through reduction in health benefits and terminal leave. These numbers were not anticipated in the original budget, but were added in this latest revision.