NEWS HEADLINES

Council OKs budget, contracts

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Texas law requires two public hearings, and votes on first and second readings, before a new city budget and property tax rate can take effect.

Done, done and done.

The Decatur City Council gave final approval Monday to a $14,285,454 budget for fiscal year 2014 and approved the 67.3-cent property tax rate needed to make it balance. Both actions were on second reading, with no feedback at either hearing.

Monday’s action clears the way for the new budget and tax rate to take effect when the fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The new budget includes:

  • a 4 percent cost of living pay raise for city employees;
  • a 2 percent drop in health insurance rates;
  • no rate increase for water and sewer customers;
  • $53,000 in savings at the airport due to restructuring management;
  • no new personnel;
  • one additional School Resource Officer at a cost of approximately $22,275, with Decatur ISD picking up the rest of the cost.

All the votes were unanimous.

OTHER BUSINESS

The council wrapped up a couple of items from the previous budget and approved several contracts that will keep arrangements going through the coming year.

  • They approved on second reading a budget amendment for $261,500 for the Economic Development Corp. (EDC) to provide water and wastewater service for the new Karl Klement Chrysler dealership.
  • They approved a memorandum of understanding with Decatur ISD to provide an additional School Resource Officer for security at the district’s elementary campuses.
  • They approved an interlocal agreement with Wise County for fire protection and first-responder services. The county pays the city $4,200 a month – $50,400 per year – for the service.
  • They approved an interlocal agreement to allow all county residents the use of the Decatur Public Library. The county pays the city $52,004 a year.
  • They voted to continue participation in the city of Fort Worth’s Environmental Collection Center’s Household Hazardous Waste Program, which allows residents to buy a voucher at City Hall and take certain wastes to the Fort Worth center for proper disposal.
  • They approved hiring the accounting firm of Scott Sigmund to continue to handle the city’s outside financial audit for the coming year.
  • They picked up packets to guide them through the annual evaluation of City Manager Brett Shannon, which will be conducted at the next meeting Sept. 23.

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