By BRIAN SMITH
HUDSON OAKS — A $2.12 million general fund budget for Fiscal Year 2014 has been approved by city council members.
Two budget discussions were held in June and July with council members able to meet with City Administrator Patrick Lawler on an individual basis in early August to discuss potential changes, of which none were made. A public hearing on the budget was held Thursday before final acceptance and no one spoke on the subject.
The budget is actually about $1,700 less than last year’s projected budget. Expected revenue comes in at $2,120,254 with expenditures at $2,096,567. The $23,687 surplus will increase the fund balance to $763,157, or about 36 percent of the budget. Thirty percent of a budget is required in the fund balance by law.
Some of the expected increase in revenue comes from expected strong showing in building permit fees. Lawler said as of July, permits for 29 new homes were pulled, compared to 10 for all of last year.
Highlights of the budget include the purchase of two new police vehicles, according to Lawler. The city will then sell the other two vehicles at auction, Lawler said.
Expenses are expected to grow by four percent over last year’s budget with the bulk of that coming via an additional $41,000 being spent on roads this year. The focus of the road budget is on Oakridge Drive construction project. Lawler said how much of the road is complete will depend on the cost with the possibility of road work moving on into the FY 2015 budget.
“Engineering work will begin in October with expected construction to begin in August 2014,” Lawler said.
the city is expecting a three percent sales tax increase, or about $50,000 over last year, Lawler said. The increase is “conservative” as the city saw a four percent increase in sales tax from 2012 numbers.
In its five-year plan, Lawler says the forecast is for no ad valorem, or property, taxes. Having a five-year plan has a benefit of the city being able to recognize the need for property taxes far in advance, Lawler said.
City employees will receive a two percent cost of living allowance plus the ability to receive up to an additional two percent in merit increases, given out by department heads. A vacation buyback program is being implemented to allow employees to sell some of their vacation time.
Lawler said with the city having a small staff, overtime costs can go up when employees go on vacation and their position needs to be filled. Lawler said about half the employees are eligible, or have enough hours to sell, for the program.
The budget will go into effect Oct 1.
By BRIAN SMITH
- Aledo ExtrA
Plans move forward for new judge
The new judge for Parker County Court at Law No. 2 will be chosen by voters in November, but plans are underway now to determine who will appear on the ballot.
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Aledo ISD has announced a restructuring of the athletic department for the 2014 school year. At his request, Coach Tim Buchanan will become the fulltime athletic director so he may focus on the entire athletic program of the district as it continues to grow.
Water park burglar sought
Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month.
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An unforgettable state championship
Corey Kiser and Riley Sartain, members of Aledo High School’s state champion softball team, honored by trustees last week, are to blame for the 10-3 tattoo on the finger of their coach, Jeff Lemons.
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A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested July 21, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Fire protection improving in Aledo
Stephen Watson, interim chief of Emergency Services District No. 1, briefed the Aledo City Council on improvements to the city’s fire protection — including the purchase of a site for a new fire station — in Thursday night’s Aledo City Council session.
Aledo ISD trustees affirm hiring policy
The Aledo ISD School Board affirmed a policy delegating the hiring of most school personnel to the administration by a 4-1 margin last week, with trustees Jay Stringer, David Tillman, Hoyt Harris and Steve Bartley voting in favor and trustee Bobby Rigues arguing that the board should retain the responsibility.
Aledo coffee shop helps support the troops
HUDSON OAKS — Wild West Splash Kingdom was the host of military members and military supporters the night of Saturday, July 19, during ‘Salute the Troops,’ sponsored by Holy Grounds Coffee and Gifts in Aledo and Ducerus College Planning.
Calendar of events
Holy Grounds Coffee & Gifts, at 108 Jearl Street, is hosting a series of outdoor movies in their parking lot at 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 23.
Admission is free and feature drinks are half price during the films. “The Amazing Spiderman” is Aug. 2, followed by “Tangled” on Aug. 9, “The Lego Movie” on Aug. 16 and “The Avengers” on Aug. 23.
For more information, call 817-440-7770.
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