Weatherford Democrat

March 26, 2013

Fund budget on agenda for council


Weatherford Democrat

—  

By BRIAN SMITH

A budget amendment appropriating a total of about $60,000 from the city’s general fund will be discussed at Tuesday night’s Weatherford city council meeting.

In a staff report, Director of Management and Budget Chad Janicek stated the council authorized several projects and contracts over the past several weeks and the amended ordinance will help accommodate those actions. Affecting the general fund will be an additional $25,000 for mosquito control and $35,000 for emergency dirt removal. Also coming out of the general fund is $307,000 for the storm water study, which will be reimbursed later this year from the storm water utility fund.

City Manager Jerry Blaisdell is also expected to give four city manager awards to Austin Nichols, David Secrest, Jeff Foster and Kevin Tucker. The council will also consider authorizing Blaisdell to enter into a lease agreement with Deutsch/Xerox to enable the city to get devices [copier/print/fax/scan] with budgeted dollars.

This project will replace existing hardware and software with newer technology and lowers the total cost per printing and copying. The annual payment of $59,340 is included as a budgeted item. This lease will use Texas Department of Information Resources state contract pricing.

The council will also consider supporting a house bill relating to the expansion of emergency services district territory into a city. The proposed legislation would provide a process requiring the consent of the governing body of a municipality before an emergency services district may be expanded into territory containing that municipality’s limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction.

According to a staff report, this is a cleanup bill that would prevent an a district from annexing city ETJ without first seeking permission from the municipality.

 

Work session

Following the meeting, council members will go into a work session, from which no action can be taken, concerning tax increment reinvestment zones and tax investment financing. 

According to a report from Director of Planning and Development Craig Farmer, tax increment financing is a tool that local governments can use to publicly finance needed improvements to infrastructure and buildings within a designated area known as a reinvestment zone. Those public infrastructure improvements will promote new, private construction and investment within the district. 

The cost of the public improvements to the reinvestment zone is repaid by the future tax revenues from the improvements, not from existing property values. Each taxing unit can choose to dedicate all, a portion of, or none of the tax revenue gained as a result of improvements within the reinvestment zone.

A reinvestment zone can be initiated by petition of the affected property owners or a municipality can initiate a reinvestment zone without the need for a petition.

Once a city has begun the process of establishing a tax increment financing reinvestment zone, other taxing units are allowed to consider participating in the tax increment financing agreement. These zones are commonly referred to as either a tax increment financing (TIF) zone or a tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ).

There is a multi-step process by which a taxing unit can establish a tax increment financing zone. The statutes governing tax increment financing are located in chapter 311 of the Texas Tax Code.

The council would need to bring the item back in the future for action, if any is needed.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.