orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

August 3, 2013

BC council to present balanced budget

BRIDGE CITY — City officials will present citizens a balanced budget at a meeting later this month.

City council members in Bridge City have prepared a balanced budget for the coming fiscal year and will present the proposed budget, along with the new tax rate, and a pay increase for city employees at a meeting scheduled for Aug. 20.

A proposed balanced budget totaling $7,142,426 will be presented to councilmembers for approval. This is an increase of approximately $300,000 compared to the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

“This really wasn’t a bad budget to deal with,” said Jerry Jones, city manager. “Some of our revenue sources were down, but all we had to do was cut back some areas of our spending. That’s really it.”

The proposed budget does not include any capital purchases, which is equipment that costs more than $5,000 and has a life span of one or more years, but it does include a 3 percent pay increase for city employees.

Jones stated the city eliminated one employee position from the budget also, which had come open after the person left to pursue another job. It was a meter reading position, which was no longer needed since the city switched to a computerized water meter reading system earlier this year.

“My theory has always been you have to take care of your people, especially when they are good employees like ours are,” Jones said of the 3 percent raise. “We want to hang on to them as long as we can, and these raises help us do that.”

The proposed tax rate for the 2013-2014 fiscal year is $0.48345 per $100 valuation, which is a decrease of $0.00355 compared to the current tax rate.

Based on the value of a $100,000 home, taxes would decrease by $3.55 compared to the previous year, if the property value remains unchanged.

The effective tax rate is going to be a little less than it was last year, but it is basically staying steady,” said Mayor Kirk Roccaforte. “It was a tough budget. We don’t have any excess money, but the budget is balanced and we are happy about it.”

A small increase is in water and sewer rates is also included in the budget, but this price will not affect all city water and sewer customers, but only those who use more than 3,000 gallons.

The minimum rate per month will remain unchanged. For every 1,000 gallons over 3,000, the rate will increase from $2.50 to $3. The sewer rate will increase from $2.65 to $3.15 per 1,000 gallons over 3,000.

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