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Sarasota County's budget outlook for future fiscal years is looking a little brighter. During a workshop on Tuesday, April 29, county staff reported that a projected 2016 general fund short- fall has shrunk from a projection of $18.9 million as recently as February to $8.7 million. N e w p r o p e r t y t a x value projections ini- tially lowered that number to $16.3 million. (See the related story in this issue.) However, the projected gap will be cut fur- ther, thanks to a plan to utilize money freed up from reducing var- i o u s d e p a r t m e n t s ' reserve funds. Those accounts had accrued $7.6 million. "This is very good news," Steve, Botelho, the county's financial management officer Chairman Charles Hines asks a question during the fund balance discussion on April 29. Photo by Roger Drouin THOUGH A PROJECTED COUNTY REVENUE SHORTFALL IN 2016 HAS BEEN SHRINKING, A COUNTY COMMISSION DISCUSSION THIS WEEK REFLECTED DISAGREEMENT OVER SOME RESERVE LEVELS A SHRINKING DEFICIT I am much more comfortable with where we are heading. Our budget is in much better shape. Christine Robinson Vice Chairwoman Sarasota County Commission By Roger Drouin County Editor

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