City Unveils Balanced Budget, Progress On Bond Projects
Schertz city officials introduced the proposed $59 million FY 2012-13 budget to city council August 7, including a General Fund budget of $21.5 million. The proposed budgets represents 2.6 percent increase over fiscal year 2011-12, and holds the Maintenance and Operations expenses (cost for day-to-day operations) firm at $0.2993.
Schertz City Manager John Kessel explained that the budget met the city’s priorities and goals, including keeping the city’s Maintenance and Operation Tax rate flat; replenishing the city’s reserves an additional $372,250; providing for employee health care insurance and merit; implementing the City strategic plan goals; and increasing our community’s commitment to public safety. Kessel went on to explain that the goals established for this year’s budget were set early and included ensuring a financially sound and balanced budget that was both conservative and responsive to community needs. Maintaining or expanding services offered by the city and focusing on certain key areas were also high priority goals.
Among the key areas put forth by Kessel were four new traffic safety positions in the police department, a new evidence technician position, and five new vehicles with equipment. Initial funding for a new ladder truck fire truck for the fire department as well as funding of equipment for two new ambulances on order from FY 2011-12 budget are also proposed.
Other high priority items include the addition of an employee to the public works department’s storm water management program, and an employee to oversee all public infrastructure construction including new water lines, roadways, etc. That position will be funded through fees charged to developers whose new projects are located in the city. Additional monies are also proposed to for higher fuel and electrical costs.
Voters went to the polls in 2010 and approved a number of community projects, including the Aquatic Center, Ball Fields and Soccer Complex, Animal Services Center and Dog Park, Playscape, and Main Street reimaging. Those voter-approved bond projects are moving forward and play a key part in the proposed budget which includes a 2.5-cent increase in the I&S (interest & sinking fund) tax rate $0.1850 to just over $0.21 per $100 of valuation to cover their costs.
Public Hearings will be held at the August 21 and 28 City Council meetings in Council Chambers, Building No. 4.
Council members on August 7 voted on first reading to approve the maximum tax rate at $0.5095 (M&O and I&S) to ensure that no further increases would be permissible in the upcoming fiscal year that starts October 1, 2012.
Adoption of the tax rate and 2012-13 budget is slated for September 4. For more information about the proposed city budget visit schertz.com