City budget action set Sept. 14

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A 2016 budget and total city tax rate of $.0.7053 per $100 valuation – a decrease from the current rate of $0.7121 – is set for a first reading before City Council on Sept. 14.

The proposed budget adds a health code enforcement officer, adds eight police positions and a small business coordinator position.

Just under $1 million is proposed for street maintenance, with 100 percent of that recommended to be spent on local subdivision streets. Also included in the funding is maintenance, utilities and equipment for two new parks that will open in the coming year: Shadow Creek Ranch and Hickory Slough Sportsplex.

A 2 percent cost of living increase is budgeted for city employees, along with a 3 percent annual “step advance” for police officers.

The city’s estimated revenues are under expenditures by $3.5 million, an amount proposed to come from the fund balance, city documents state. The proposed budget’s ending balance in September of 2016 is estimated to be $12.1 million – well above the required two-month reserve.

Revenue and expense items drew questions Monday from the council, with discussion of details lasting until nearly 8 p.m.

“We’re scrounging for loose change where we can find it, and that’s good,” Mayor Tom Reid said.

The budget and tax rate are set for adoption by the council this month, with more discussion to be held Sept. 8.

“Next Tuesday after Labor Day to tie up a couple of loose ends, and after Tuesday be able to prepare ordinances for you on the 14th,” City Manager Clay Pearson said.

The second and final reading of budget ordinances is set for Sept. 21.

Meetings are held in Council Chambers at City Hall, 3519 Liberty Dr.

For more budget information and updated council agendas and meeting videos, visit www.pearlandtx.gov.

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