Missouri City Council approves FY 2015 budget

By Betsy Dolan 

TThe Missouri City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget on June 16 which maintains the current tax rate, gives full-time employees a one-time lump sum 3% raise and allows for expanded Wi-Fi access at City buildings, including the City Center.

In the FY 2015 budget, the city will have total revenue of $38,531,087 and total expenditures of $39,386,549.  The beginning fund balance is $8.8 million with the ending fund balance estimated to be $8.0 million.  The City will maintain its current tax rate of $0.57375.

“This budget will raise more revenue from property taxes than last year’s budget by $425,461, which is a 2.4 percent increase from the previous year’s budget,” said June Ellis, Missouri City’s Budget and Financial Reporting Manager.

Ellis told the council that 70% of the city’s revenue will come from property taxes which is a 10% decrease over last year.  But, Ellis said, the city is seeing a 10% increase in commercial property revenues.

Other highlights from the approved budget include:

• the hiring of a City Grants Coordinator

• take-home vehicles for Police Department Investigators

• a playground for the Recreation and Tennis Center

• a backflow preventing system for the Public Safety Headquarters

• 28,000 in city-wide facility maintenance

The new budget also allocates $60,480 to pay for overtime in a new program in the Fire Department that could bring $156,000 in operational cost savings. The program involves sending a squad car, instead of a fire truck,  to non-emergency calls whenever possible.

“There is a dollar figure–what it costs for us to operate that truck per mile–and it is significant.  By doing it this way, we’re trying to save that money and the operational costs and to extend the life of the trucks”, Sander told the council.

The City Council has also been given the Capital Improvements Project budget for Fiscal Year 2015.  It primarily includes projects approved by Missouri City voters in 2003 and 2014. Some of the FY15 CIP projects are:

• City Hall roof repair

• Facility needs assessment

• Park improvements

• Hurricane Lane extension

• Vicksburg extension

• Turtle Creek/Mission Valley-Hilton Head reconstruction

• Gregory reconstruction

• Glenn Lakes bridge over Oyster Creek

• Replacement of a Gradall

“Adoption of the annual budget is one of the most important actions of the Council each year as it provides a roadmap to City staff and citizens on what the city will do the next year.  It is a connection between the long-range plans of the community and the annual revenues the City expects to collect,” said City Manager Ed Broussard.

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