Wednesday, June 12, 2024

City of Granbury approves $69 million 2024 fiscal budget including a half cent tax increase

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At a regularly scheduled Granbury City Council meeting, the council voted to approve the 2024 fiscal budget set at $69 million with a passing of 4-1 that is set to start October 1 of 2023.

Mayor Jim Jarratt noted in the meeting that the city of Granbury’s budget is “one of the most transparent budgets you will ever see.”

The budget’s planned expenditures will go towards personnel costs at 36%, following paying back debt services at 18%, with services set at 16%, cost of goods sold at 12%, supplies and maintenance set at 8%, capital at 6% and interfund transfers being at 4%.

The budget includes an increase to the tax rate at 38.5 cents, a half cent increase from the 2023 fiscal year. This increase will bring in $103,600 which will keep the budget balanced.

This would affect property owners per $100,000 costing $50 a year with the half cent increase.

“It’s not a tax, it’s an investment and I’m all for it,” Mayor Jim Jarratt said in the meeting.

“I think we’re doing a great job keeping the tax rate low,” City Manager Chris Coffman said during the meeting. “That’s why we’re growing.”

In the August first city council meeting, Mayor Jarratt had an agenda item that passed 6-0 requesting the disapproval of the Hood County Appraisal District’s proposed budget as well as the sending over of a refund of excess funds of one point nine million dollars to all the eleven tax entities including the city. This money had accumulated over the previous years and was supposed to be refunded to the city but never was.

Mayor Jarratt noticed this after looking further into the HCAD’s budget and noticed the numbers were not right and didn’t add up.

According to city attorney Jeremy SoRelle the HCAD needed to create and request an amendment to change their budget and send out a notice to each of the taxing units noting that they were going to create that amendment, but they did not.

Mayor Jarratt also noted that these were actions from the previous HCAD board and not the current board. Mayor Jarratt and Coffman also noted that they did not want to undermine the current board and their work.

The city received $104,228 from 2020 through 2022 from the HCAD two weeks ago.

Mayor Jim Jarratt noted that this money was “erroneously withheld”.

City councilman Eddie Rodriguez noted that they should vote to not increase the tax rate and use the money received from the HCAD to offset the budget and keep it balanced without having to increase the tax rate, thus the reason he voted against the city council proposed budget during the meeting.

When it comes to the new tax rate, City Manager Chris Coffman noted that in comparison to neighboring cities, Granbury’s tax rate at 38.5 cents is the lowest compared to Benbrook, Burleson, Cleburne, Crowley, Godley, Joshua, Keene, Mineral Wells, Stephenville, and Mineral Wells with the closet in comparison being Stephenville at 39.5 cents and the highest being at 86.7 cents in Keene.

“Every department goes through exactly what they need,” City councilman Bruce Wadley said during the meeting. “Nothing cost this year what it did last year. We all have to spend more…We just try to collect exactly what we have to have.”

In the budget, the city also noted three positions that would be hired for including a geographic information systems technician, airport supervisor, police criminal investigator, three part time clerks and two full time clerks. The city also plans to hire five part time interns.

There are many capital projects that the city is looking to work on with this new budget including:

-Street Improvements $1,020,300

-Utility System Maintenance $940,000

-Multiple Department Equipment Needs $514,000

-Life Station #13 Impact Fees $480,000

-IT Equipment $428,000

-Geographic Information Systems $425,000

-Four Police Vehicles $360,000

-Reserves for Future Maintenance $305,000

-Membrane Replacement Fund $250,000?

-Vitrified Clay Tile Pipe Replacement $250,000?

-Recreation $220,000

-Utility Major Equipment $212,000

-GIS Conversion to City-Hosted $200,000

-Patrol $190,000

-GF Major Equipment $173,000

-Investigations $170,000

-UF Minor Equipment $167,600

-Freightliner Dump Truck $165,000

-Lambert Branch Park Playground $160,000

-Police Equipment $155,500

-Lake Granbury Conference Center Upgrades $125,400

-Comprehensive Plan Update $115,000

-Digital Ticket Program $113,000

-Network Storage Replacement $100,000

-Sanitary Sewer Manhole Coating $100,000

-Water Meters $70,000

-Access Control Cameras $75,000

-Tractor W/Bursh Hog and Finishing Mower $71,000

-Sanitary Sewer Mahole Rehabilitation $65,000

-GF Minor Equipment $65,000

-City Pool Replaster $60,000

-Bobcat Skid Steer Loader $55,000

-LGCC Lighting Plan Phase 1 $50,000

-Half-Ton Truck $47,000

-Chevrolet 1500 Silverado $47,000

-Well Plugging $45,000

-Replace Tables $37,400

-Pump Motor Replacement Fund $35,000

-Four Flock Safety Cameras $33,000

-Pole-Mounted Security Cameras $28,000

-Pump Station Flow Meters $28,000

-PEG Equipment-Wireless Mics $25,000

-Electric Meters $25,000

-Air Compressor for Fleet $22,300

-Pump Motor VFD Sinking Fund $20,000

-Paint Upstairs $20,000

-SCBA Packs for Well Sites $18,600

-Replace TV Monitors $18,000

-Utility Line Locator $15,000

-City Hall HVAC Motorized Damper $14,400

-Light Tower $11,000

-Mower Replacement Program $10,300

-Paint Sprayer $10,000

-Fuming Chamber $9,000

The city’s overall revenue is up from the 2021-2022 fiscal year from $36,445,572 to the 2022-2023 year collecting $41,133,433.

The city’s biggest revenue stream comes from sales tax. The city of Granbury collected $11.9 million in sales tax in the fiscal year of 2022.

Another big revenue stream comes from the Hotel Occupancy Tax that is paid for by those who come to stay in hotels or bed and breakfasts. In the fiscal year of 2022 the city collected $1,132,517.

Coffman noted that with such high revenue from sales tax and visitors it is important to keep the city at its best and continue to improve infrastructure and make upgrades.

For more information on the city’s budget report, annual reports and revenue streams visit granbury.org/opengov.