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Section A: General News


Eagle Ford: Falls City adopts $549K budget




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Wilson County News
September 18, 2013 | 2,851 views | Post a comment

FALLS CITY -- It will cost a total of $548,605 to operate the city for the 2014 fiscal year, following the Falls City City Council’s Sept. 11 approval of both the general and utility budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.

The utility budget --which covers the costs associated with water, sewer, and refuse services -- totals $345,200. The remainder of city functions is financed with the general fund budget, which totals $203,405.

Among new expenditures is the purchase of a tractor and shredder. The council voted unanimously to award a bid to Seguin-based Dietz Tractor for a 65-horsepower, four-wheel-drive LS tractor that will cost $26,250. A 12-foot Bush-hog 2200 flex wing rotary cutter will cost an additional $11,500.

Public works employee Albert Martinez said the equipment will be used to mow ditches along city streets, the grounds of the city’s wastewater treatment plant, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) easements. Mayor Brent Houdmann said Falls City, like other towns, was informed by TxDOT that the highway department no longer would be mowing its own easements within the city.

The total of the two budgets is more than 14 percent larger than the previous fiscal year’s budget of $479,505. However, each taxpayer will pay an average of $3.66 cents less to support the city. That is because the budget for the coming fiscal year will be supported by an ad valorem tax rate of 52.82 cents per $100 of taxable value, as approved by the council at an Aug. 27 special meeting. The new tax rate is 4.28 cents less than the previous 57.1-cent rate.

According to the Karnes County Appraisal District, the average taxable value of a residential property within the city limits of Falls City was certified at $59,616. Therefore, the average tax bill this year will be $314.89.

Last year, when the average taxable value was $55,788, the average taxpayer paid a bill of $318.55.

Also during the meeting, the council:

•Rehired City Secretary Lauren Sturm for the 2014 fiscal year.

•Completed Martinez’s annual review in closed session, voting in open session to grant him a $1-per-hour pay raise, bringing his hourly wage to $16.

•Voted to solicit bids for radio-read water meters.

•Nominated Patrick Pollok as the city’s representative to the Karnes County Appraisal District board of directors.

•Tabled discussion of a proposed ordinance aimed at regulating illegal smoking products.

•Discussed the need for upgrades and repairs at two city lift stations, for which the council is set to vote on soliciting bids at its October meeting.


In attendance: Mayor Brent Houdmann and councilmen Jeff Johnson, Andrew Wiatrek, and Steve Swierc; City Secretary Lauren Sturm, City Attorney Acie McAda; and public works employees Jeremy Mandel and Albert Martinez.
 

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