Next year’s budget to fund additional city staff

In News by Reporter News

More public safety positions are among the city’s plans for the upcoming fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

City Council on Monday adopted the final version of its $147.8 million operating budget Monday, along with a one-year budget for capital improvement of just under $53.21 million.

The operating budget will fund three new positions at the police department, along with manning a fifth ambulance to operate during peak hours and personnel for a new fire station slated to open next fall. In total, 23 new positions will be added.

The city’s property tax rate is unchanged at .7051 cents per $100 valuation.

Also on Monday, the city approved an advance funding agreement for the upcoming Bailey Road widening project. The city recently obtained an 80-20 grant to fund the widening of the road from Veteran’s Drive to just west of FM 1128. Land acquisition is currently being completed for the project, and some updating of design and environmental work will be required before the project can proceed, City Manager Bill Eisen said. The widening project will cost the city $6.8 million, with the state providing $21.4 million.

“We’ve done our homework on these roadways,” Mayor Tom Reid said of the city’s ability to secure grant funding. “If we can keep that up, I think we’ll always be able to get shared funding as we go into construction on these major roadways.” Contract letting for the Bailey work is set for 2014.

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