(Orange, Texas)

August 1, 2007

Second city budget workshop today

By Erik Onstott

The Orange Leader

The city of Orange will hold another budget workshop today for fiscal year 2008 with the city council and City Manager Shawn Oubre.

“I’ll be taking questions, and input, from the council,” Oubre said.

At last week’s budget workshop, Oubre informed the council of the proposed effective tax rate for the fiscal year.

“We’re proposing, in this budget, for the tax rate to go down,” Oubre said. “However, the amount it will go down is still to be determined.”

Oubre said the determination of the tax rate for fiscal year 2008 will partly depend on the ongoing negotiations the city is having with the Orange Police Officers Association.

Oubre would not comment on the negotiations; however, he said the city and the police officers association would continue the negotiations until both parties came to a satisfactory agreement.

According to the general budget summary, the total operating revenue for the city of Orange for fiscal year 2007 was just over $14.20 million; the total amount available for city operations was approximately $19.07 million, leaving the city with a cash balance of almost $4.87 million as of Oct. 1. According to budget projections, the city will have an estimated cash balance of $4.72 million on Sept. 30, 2008. Approximately $2.76 million of that amount is designated for operating reserves, while $217,142 is designated for capital improvements and $26,560 for debt service.

Some of the larger capital outlay requests for the city include $166,700 from the general fund for 7 to 8 police vehicles; $125,000 from the general fund for a street overlay program; and $100,000 from the water and sewer fund for a 500-kilowatt generator for the Link Street well distribution pumps. Other capital outlay requests include $45,000 from the general fund for a new jet rodder to clean out dirt- and debris-congested culverts; $50,000 from the general fund to improve sewer drainage in the Navy Park and Briarhill editions; and $21,500 from the general fund for a new truck for an additional inspector with the city’s inspections department.

Oubre and the council will hold the budget workshop at 2 p.m in the Ira Williamson meeting room in the Orange Public Library, 220 N. 5th St.