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Bridgeport City Council OKs budget 4-1

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, September 15, 2018
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With a tax rate increase and an uptick in water and sewer rates on the ledger, the Bridgeport city council approved the fiscal year 2018-19 budget with a 4-1 vote Monday.

The tax rate is up from last year, rising to 64.40 cents per $100 valuation. The 2017-18 tax rate was 63.9 cents.

The increase will result in a 6 percent increase in projected property tax revenue, raising an additional $142,539.

Councilwoman Kathy Kennedy was the sole vote against the FY 2018-19 budget, with council members Jimmy Meyers, Bobby Brazier, Kevin Lopez and Billy Fred Walker voting to approve.

Bridgeport finance director Mike Halsema said this budget will keep things balanced and for the most part the same, with projected increases in spending stemming from the hiring of Bridgeport’s second school resource officer as well as minor raises for hourly employees.

“Other than that, we are trying to maintain,” Halsema said.

Halsema said part of making up the gap this year was an increase in franchise fees for water utilities and electric utilities. Franchise fees for water and electric utilities are projected at $833,595 combined.

Additionally, residents will see a 5 percent increase in water and sewer rates and a 5 percent increase in the base change fee for water and 6.5 percent increase in the base rate for sewer.

The city is projecting $19,313,091 in total revenue with expenses totaling $18,873,740. The city’s general fund is listed at $4,657,089.

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