The Bellaire City Council got its first look Monday night at the proposed 2013 budget, which maintains the current tax rate of $0.3999 per $100 of valuation and restores levels of city service.
City Manager Bernie Satterwhite presented the 2013 proposed budget to city council during last night’s meeting. Council is expected to approve the budget on Sept. 10.
For the last few years, the city has not budgeted for pay increases for staff and has continued a hiring freeze.
The city’s tax base has increased based on preliminary projects and the proposed budget accounts for no frozen positions and step increases for eligible employees.
The proposed budget also accounts for increased tree trimming on rights of way, increased litter pickup on Loop 610, increased parks and pools maintenance, construction of the Bellaire Town Square great lawn and pavilion and needed vehicle replacement for all departments, amongst other things.
The proposed 2013 budget also accounts for $50,000 for economic development, compared to $15,000 that was budgeted last year.
The proposed general fund budget, which funds almost all city services, accounts for about $15.3 million in revenues and $14.9 million in expenditures.
The largest portion of the general fund, or 75 percent, accounts for personnel and benefits. The city uses the general fund to pay 139 full time employees.
The proposed budget maintains the current tax rate, all funds are balanced and it does not exceed the 2012 projected expenditures, Satterwhite said.
The fiscal year for the 2013 budget is Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013.
The proposed budget can be viewed here.
Similar to last year, residents will be able to make comments about the proposed budget on the city’s budget blog. Residents will also be able to comment about the proposed budget during a public hearing on Aug. 20.