The Brownwood City Council held its regular meeting this morning regarding the proposed ’09/’10 budget, tax rate and to open bids for upcoming projects.
City’s Director of Finance Walter Middleton conducted a detailed look at the proposed budget for the next fiscal year in a slide show presentation. The final proposed budget is for $30,372,282 which is a decrease of .45% from the previous fiscal year’s budget. Revenue increases were derived from property tax (due to property value increases in the city), water revenue rate increase of 2.5% due to wholesale water cost increase, and water/sewer/sanitation usage increases.
Major expenditure increases for the fiscal year will be for a 4% raise for city employees (3% for department heads) and a 6% increase in pay for police and fire employees. Expenditure decreases over last year were for fuel savings, 4 position elimination by attrition, and a savings on the Home Depot sales tax rebate.
The mayor opened the pubic hearing for feedback and comments from the public, but no one stepped forward.
Mayor Bert Massey said, “Department heads came in with realistic requests,” referring to the departmental budget requests. Mr. Massey also explained that many other cities are having huge budget deficits. Massey also wanted to make it clear that City Manager Bobby Rountree requested to not have a pay raise for himself.
The council moved forward to approve the date September 15th, 2009 at 9am to have a special called meeting to approve the 2009-2010 budget.
There is also an approval to have public hearings regarding the tax rate on August 25th, 2009. Although the current city property tax rate of $.7452 per $100 valuation is not changing, since property values in the city increased it is required to hold public hearings and have multiple readings to adopt the rate. The 1st reading is scheduled for September 15th and 2nd & 3rd readings on September 22nd.
The council also awarded Lydick Hooks Roofing with the job of roofing the city administration building. Their bid was $97,289 for the job which was approximately $15,500 higher than expected. The other bid that council considered was for about the same price from an out of town roofing firm. The council wanted to award the job to a local company when possible.
The city council also approved the opening of bids for the Camp Bowie Family Aquatic Center & The Coliseum Annex building renovations. Bids will open on October 8th and the jobs will be awarded on October 13th.
During the reports section of the meeting, Mr. Rountree mentioned that the city is still waiting to hear on the results of a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant for $500,000 to go towards the Aquatic Center and the Sports complex. The city is expected to get this grant, but is still waiting to hear official word.
There was also discussion of the progress of the new FEMA floodplain remapping. The lake water flow over the spillway is still needed to be determined.
The council reports also mentioned a new 7.5 Gauge locomotive to be added as part of the Lehnis Transportation Museum. This small train can be ridden by children and adults. There is some property across the street from the museum that will possibly be donated to the city for this project.