Weatherford Democrat

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August 6, 2013

Willow Park officials propose maintaining tax rate

(Continued)

Amending the current fiscal year budget earlier in the year revealed structural deficits, according to City Administrator Matt Shaffstall. 

“Previous budgets included overestimated revenue projections and use of fund balance reserves to balance the budget,” Shaffstall wrote. “A tremendous amount of time and energy went into ensuring that the budget is balanced using current revenues to cover operating expenses.”

In addition to making sure revenues exceed expenditures, staff said an effort was made to match sources of funding so one-time revenue sources went to one-time expenditures, such as capital improvement projects.

 

Department changes

Department heads were asked to maintain the status quo and forego new personnel or vehicles, though merit-based raises of up to 5 percent for city employees were budgeted to correspond with the new city employee handbook that calls for annual performance evaluations. 

The service levels for several departments are also expected to change. 

One current full-time employee in utility billing would become part-time and split time between two city departments, according to the budget. 

The budget also recommends the Public Works Department be restructured, cutting the work crew from seven positions to six and restructuring the work shift schedule to include a rotating weekend shift. The city hopes to save $34,000 with the change. 

The restructuring of the Development Services Department, which handles planning, zoning, permitting, inspection and code enforcement, would continue under the new budget. Hiring a department director, a new position for the city, and continuing with third-party plan reviews and inspection services is budgeted for the upcoming fiscal year. 

The budget also discusses the option of converting Willow Park Fire-Rescue from a non-profit department funded primarily by the city to a city department overseen by the city. 

The city currently contracts with the volunteer department, which employs eight firefighters and provides 24-hour coverage. There are an additional 13 reserve firefighters who work for other fire departments while volunteering for Willow Park and three traditional volunteers who live inside city limits. The city provides more than 90 percent of the department’s funding, according to the budget. A cost analysis prepared by city staff estimates the city would save more than $10,000 by transitioning to a city-run department and allowing for a reduction in inefficient insurance and benefits expenses. 

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    Although the initial phases of the project date back three years ago, the Citizen’s Capital Advisory Committee, appointed by the Weatherford City Council, has been working tirelessly through the first and second quarters of this year to come up with viable street projects for the city’s current Transportation Capital Improvement Plan. At a work session Tuesday evening, City of Weatherford Director of Capital Transportation Terry Hughes walked the council through CCAC’s proposed streets projects, which would be funded by a bond that could be voted on in a November election.

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    Jordan Paredes, reported by relatives to be in a coma following the wreck, was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m. in the trauma intensive care unit, the medical examiner reported. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

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    The Daughters of the American Revolution is all about supporting the military and Saturday morning, District II of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution gathered for a district workshop meeting and to contribute to the United Service Organizations Inc.’s Treats for Troops, which distributes snacks and refreshments to military members traveling through the DFW Airport.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • city graphs.jpg HO council talks water rate increase

    At a regular Hudson Oaks City Council meeting Thursday, Hudson Oaks Assistant City Administrator Chad Janicek presented the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget. As a part of the proposal, Janicek presented the council with proposed water utility rate increases, some of which, if approved, would take effect at the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year in October. The second half would take effect in the coming years, still to be determined. As a result, the proposed rate adjustment will occur in two phases.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Julie Witt Parolee accused of embezzling $48,000 from Weatherford attorney

    A paroled paralegal, accused of embezzling more than $48,000 from a Weatherford attorney since November and leaving behind forged documents affecting at least two clients’ legal cases, is in jail again, facing her fourth felony theft charge in 15 years. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Splash Kingdom suspect 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. 

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0729 one purple heart group.jpg A Purple Heart County

    County Judge Mark Riley and Parker County commissioners proclaimed Parker County to be a “Purple Heart County” Monday, honoring local veterans and their families in a special ceremony held in the second floor courtroom of the historic courthouse. 

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • WISD to propose tax rate decrease

    Weatherford ISD, which is projected to see a rise in property values, is proposing a one-cent tax rate decrease, which would slightly increase taxes for the average homeowner. 

    July 28, 2014

  • Israel Andrade Illegal indicted for burglary, child indecency

    A Parker County grand jury has indicted a man accused of breaking into a Springtown-area home earlier this month and molesting a sleeping 9-year-old girl.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

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