Christmas Planning Starts in May for one Valparaiso Commissioner

Christopher Saul

Christopher Saul

Mid Bay News

Christmas in Val-p Comes Sooner Than You'd Think!

City Commissioner Tom Browning has his eyes on Winter again. Maybe it’s the fact that he knows the summer heat is coming. Or more likely, that he knows the city’s budget process for the next fiscal year is upon us. Either way – he has a plan for Christmas. 

Therefore, at the Valparaiso City Commission meeting on Tuesday May 9th, Browning brought up Christmas lights. You know, the fun ones – the ones that are strung every which way and make people happy when they see them. 

Commissioner Browning wants to replace older lights in the city’s inventory and add more lights to the city’s display. He’s hoping to make room in the budget for about $46,000 to replace old lights and get new lights to decorate the bridge over Tom’s Bayou as drivers approach Eglin Air Force Base. 

“It’s Val-p, it’s Christmas,” Commissioner Browning said, “It’s where I grew up. I want to see that splendor of every light on every pole and so when a kid rides through and [looks through] the back window of every light, he knows it is Christmas time.”

Valparaiso City Commissioner Tom Browning
Valparaiso City Commissioner Tom Browning

Budgeting for the Christmas Spirit

Commissioner Browning said that he received quotes for the project from between $44,200 and $49,400. 

There are a couple things to know about the Christmas lights situation moving forward:

Firstly, $46,000 would constitute about 1% of the City of Valparaiso’s FY 2022 general revenue.

Secondly, general revenue includes money that is collected from property tax levies, service taxes, fines and fees, and other miscellaneous income. General revenue is typically a large chunk of the total amount of money a city has available to it – but not all of it. Cities also apply for grants and receive other streams of revenue throughout the year as well. 

Finally, the budget process will begin in June and result in a finalized budget for the City of Valparaiso in September. The city’s fiscal year, or the cycle the city commission plans their budget for, starts October 1st and ends September 30th. 

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