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The Clerk’s Report – June 2024

As we celebrate the start of summer, it is time to prepare for hurricane season. While we are hopeful that the storms will pass Southwest Florida, it is important to prepare for the worst. I encourage everyone to organize and ensure the safety of important records and documents. It’s time to assemble your disaster supplies and complete your evacuation plans. If you are new to the area, FloridaDisaster.org provides valuable checklists for you to prepare. You can also take advantage of Florida’s Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday that runs from June 1-14. A full list of items eligible for the tax holiday is available at FloridaRevenue.com/DisasterPrep.

As a part of your Disaster Preparations, I encourage you to register for Collier County’s Risk Alert Notification Program. This is a valuable tool in monitoring your recorded property records year round. On May 6, 2024, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 285, amending state statutes regarding the free notification programs offered by Florida Clerks. This amendment exempts from public records personal information, such as names, phone numbers, parcel ID numbers, and emails that are submitted to enroll to the service. This new law helps protect your privacy and is another tool to combat fraud for all of our residents.

For our office, June marks the preparation of budgets for the following fiscal year. In this newsletter, we are providing an insight to the Collier County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and Collier County Courts budgets for FY2025. Due largely to an increase in employee benefits and compensation, we have requested a 3.5% increase for non-court activities and services to the BOCC for FY2025, which equals $15,194,800. Meanwhile, our Court related activities are funded through fees generated locally. We submit a budget for approval through the Florida Clerk of Courts & Comptrollers (FCCC) and distributions are processed through the Clerk of Courts Corporation (CCOC). Although Collier County’s Court maintains a balanced budget that would be funded fully through local revenues, the distributions received from the state are drastically cut with proceeds distributed throughout the state. We will continue discussing with the Board and the State to address this issue and receive the appropriate budget necessary to provide quality services to our community.  

Another recent development that I would like to share with you is the successful negotiation of the purchase of the 2,247 +/- acres of property at Williams Reserve at Lake Trafford, Immokalee. Earlier this year, Collier County Commissioners made a commitment that when purchasing land, they would offer an amount equal to the average of two appraisals. In the case of the Williams Reserve property purchase, there was an inherent risk that the sellers would decline the offer. However, this time it saved taxpayers nearly $2.3M and resulted in the purchase of land suitable for conservation, affordable and workforce housing, parks and recreation, transportation infrastructure, stormwater management, and economic development.  

In this newsletter and future editions, I will also be sharing highlights from the FY2023 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) so that you can gain a clearer understanding of Collier County’s financial position.  Please take a minute and let us know your thoughts!  

Download the full June 2024 Newsletter here.