Posted on 13 September 2014.
Runaway Bay city officials Tuesday will vote on the city’s financial plan for the upcoming fiscal year.
The city council will hold a public hearing, then consider approving a $1,166,640 general fund budget, funded by a 61.57 cent tax rate – the same as last year. The tax rate is pending council approval.
For the most part, the budget remains the same.
“Generally speaking, the line items are basically what they’ve been last year and the year before and so forth,” Mayor Robert Ryan said. “Each of the departments are up minimally.”
Administrative expenses are up 2.5 percent, while public works outflow remains steady with a 5 percent increase.
Projected expenditures for the police department are down 9 percent.
“It has to do with $55,000 in capital purchases last year,” City Secretary/Administrator Oneta Berghoefer said. “We don’t have that in this year’s budget.”
Municipal court expenses are also down 32 percent as a result of reducing the judge’s position to part-time.
There are no major changes in the parks, civic center, capital improvement or cemetery funds.
Some noteworthy changes in the budget are:
City officials opted to grant employees a $1 an hour wage increase.
The budget originally included a 5 percent increase across the board, which met opposition from the council.
“Five percent across the board seems a little heavy,” Councilman Neil Peters said.
Councilman Dan Ticer added: “I don’t like percentages. Period. Me, personally, I’m not going to vote for a percentage raise. Period. That’s me.”
At Ryan’s suggestion, the council proceeded with the $1 an hour increase.
With that raise, each of the city’s 17 employees would earn an additional $2,080 a year. That number would increase the budget by $35,360.
The city will contribute an additional $7,000 to the Texas Municipal Retirement System due to “new mortality assumptions,” Berghoefer said.
The fire department budget includes $43,000 for the purchase of a 2014 Ford F-150 and equipment to be used as a first responder truck.
“Ninety-plus percent of our calls are medical,” Fire Chief Brian Bernardo said. “This makes us more effective. We would respond to a medical a little faster because that vehicle would be posted with the chief or the assistant or the next highest designated in command if those two positions are out of town.
“It allows that person to go straight to the call. It will be equipped not like a full truck but more than the equipment you can fit in a car – basic firefighting equipment, a good bit of medical gear.”
The expense will be paid for out of fire department funds.
“It won’t be of any cost to the city taxpayer,” Berghoefer said.
In addition to voting on the tax rate and budget, the council will also consider a 1.8 percent rate adjustment for Progressive Waste Solutions and a bid for a lot.
The meeting, which is open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. It will be held at City Hall, 101 Runaway Bay Drive.