Weatherford Democrat

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September 24, 2013

Weatherford council expected to pass budget

By BRIAN SMITH

After weeks of discussion and cuts, Weatherford city council will be adopting the Fiscal Year 2014 budget during Tuesday night’s meeting.

The $25.26 million budget is balanced and was done without increasing the city’s 46.36 cent per $100 valuation tax rate. It contains increasing the street materials budget by about $240,000, bringing it to to $902,000, in an attempt to maintain the city’s streets. A recommendation of between $1.2 million to $1.4 million per year was given but city officials believe this is a good start.

The council also trimmed the cost-of-living allowance for retirees from 70 percent to 50 percent of the rate of inflation which drew the ire of retirees. The move was done to also incorporate a two percent COLA for currently employees as well.

Throughout the budget process, council members and city staff battled with trying to restore funding and employee numbers to levels seen before cuts made in 2008 without a property tax increase. The tax rate of 46.36 cents is expected to be adopted during Tuesday night’s meeting as well. No one spoke regarding the tax rate during two public hearings and only one person spoke on the budget during a public hearing at the Sept. 10 council meeting.

In a related item, city staff looked at the city’s schedule of fees and charges along with the recent budget and made some changes which will be considered at Tuesday’s meeting. Many of the changes came in the inspection fees for food areas at businesses. Fee streamlining concerning vendors at the First Monday Trade Grounds, including adding fees for overnight RV and camper parking and a daily livestock vendor fee,  Municipal Court has added a $2 per conviction fee which will go toward the case manager truancy prevention fund.

Changes in police department report fees and utilities were included as well.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 303 Palo Pinto St.

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