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Stockdale council approves budget
STOCKDALE -- The Stockdale City Council has adopted its 2013-14 fiscal year budget. A tax rate to support it has yet to be approved, however.
After no comments were offered during an Aug. 28 public hearing, the council adopted the budget. City Manager Banks Akin said the general, water, and sewage accounts will operate with a balanced budget, while the natural gas account will have a deficit of $58,265. The city’s 2013-14 fiscal operating budget includes revenue of $1,667,450, with expenses estimated at $1,593,195.
The primary source of revenue for the city is ad valorem (property) taxes. The public will have a final opportunity next week to address the city’s proposed property-tax rate of 36.67 cents per $100 of assessed property value. This would increase total taxes by 7.37 percent. No one addressed the 2.63-cent increase during the first public hearing held Aug. 28. Taxpayers have a final opportunity during a hearing set for Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. in City Hall.
Budget issues continued, with Akin and Mayor Ray Wolff advising that the council will have to address the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department’s budget at a future date. Prior to the council meeting, the department presented a budget total of $127,650. Wolff expressed concern about certification of the department’s fire engine and the need to replace it. Such vehicles can cost from $300,000 to $400,000, the council heard at a previous workshop in July.
In other matters, the council awarded the bid for trash collection within the city. Three companies submitted bids, which Akin was instructed to present as a chart for comparison.
After discussion of whether automated services would benefit citizens, the council decided to continue with Progressive Waste Solutions, its current provider. The overall cost to the city for its 722 customers ranges from $15,643.80 (for semi-automated) to $15,012.50 (automated). Availability of recycling for the area was addressed by city resident Ginger Coleman.
Akin reminded the council that the city absorbed some costs related to trash collection service increases in the past. This was not addressed further by the council.
In attendance: Mayor Ray Wolff; councilmen Scott Soden, Saul Bosquez, Becky Adams, and Roger Armstrong; City Manager Banks Akin; City Secretary Thania Santos; and Stockdale Fire Chief Edwin Baker.
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