The Aledo City Council heard a presentation at its regular meeting over the proposed 2019-20 fiscal year budget, as well as approved an increase in funding for the East Parker County Library by $5,000.

Aledo City Administrator Bill Funderburk presented items on the proposed budget, which included a comparison between the adopted 2018-19 fiscal year budget and the proposed 2019-20 budget.

The adopted 2019 fiscal year general fund budget was $3,133,700 and the city is proposing an increased general fund budget of $3,242,200, which is an increase of $108,500.

The adopted 2019 fiscal year water/wastewater budget was $3,358,359 and the city is proposing a decrease of $71,226 for a total of $3,287,133.

The adopted 2019 fiscal year debt service fund was $971,454 and the city is proposing an increase of $16,667 for a total of $988,121 for the fund.

The economic development fund revenues for the 2018-19 fiscal year was $369,400 with a proposed 2019-20 revenue amount of $410,400 — an increase of $41,000. The economic development fund expenditures for 2018-19 fiscal year was $297,090 with proposed 2019-20 expenditures of $314,700 — an increase of $17,610.

The 2018-19 fiscal year total revenue from the listed funds was $7,832,913, with expenditures of $7,760,603. The proposed 2019-20 fiscal year total revenues is $7,927,854 — an increase of $94,941 in revenue — and proposed expenditures is $7,832,154 — an increase of $71,551 in expenditures.

Funderburk also went over the current and proposed tax rate.

“Right now the tax rate currently is at $0.3778 with that valuation going up in the coming year, we estimate the effective rate will be at $0.3238, so that’s where the tax rate will go,” Funderburk said. “The rollback [is estimated] at $0.3497.”

The city’s five year street program will end with the next budget year and the 2019-20 proposed streets projects were presented.

The proposed projects include the Original Town of Aledo Country Acres Addition, a 20-foot alleyway $12,000; Cliffside Drive, connecting to Meadow Lane, $6,700; Meadow Lane, connecting to Westgate Drive, $36,700; Westgate Drive to Old Annetta Road, new asphalt, $112,400; Fairview Addition, entire subdivision, $41,900; Stone Bluff Addition, Cedar Bluff Court connecting to Farm-to-Market Road 5, $36,000; Stone Bluff Addition, Creek Side Drive connecting to FM 5, $28,700; Old Aledo - Bear Creek Road, $46,300; and Underwood Road, Pine Street to the city limits, $104,300.

“This will finish the five year plan that was started and you can see our estimated costs to do those streets,” Funderburk said. “During the next year we will be evaluating and coming up with a new five year street program.”

The city’s capital improvement projects included in the proposed budget included animal control, $45,880, law enforcement, $159,591, the street repair program, $467,500 and electronic files, $4,080 for the Aledo programs and services category; Aledo Commons improvements, $100,000, and facilities expansion plan, $5,000 for the Aledo facilities and grounds category; Bearcat Park improvements, $50,000, a Ford 250 pickup, $60,000, and computer replacement program, $3,500 for the Aledo vehicles, equipment and computers category; and Fort Worth water purchase, $375,000, Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District fees, $17,000, water tank maintenance, $12,000, and water/sewer rate study, $8,500 for the Aledo water and sewer category.

The Aledo council also approved a motion to increase support funding for the East Parker County Library following a presentation by Library Board President Stephanie Williamson.

“We are a non-profit, which is something that is very difficult for the communities to understand because we’re just all use to library’s being governed by somebody. We are very lucky to be able to grow the way we have in our building,” Williamson said. “We are absolutely grateful for the partnership and help that Aledo has offered. We are requesting an additional $5,000 for this year.”

This would bring the city’s support to a total of $40,000 for the East Parker County Library. In 2014-15, the city supported the library with $12,000 in funding; in 2015-16, $15,000 in funding; in 2016-17, $$25,000 in funding; in 2017-18, $30,000 in funding; and in 2018-19, $35,000 in funding.

Aledo Mayor Kit Marshall said she wants to see the library do a better job of getting the word out about their story.

“I would really love to see you all telling your story, but you’re not telling your story. You present to us and talk peripherally about all these great projects that you have, but who is telling the community? You’re not telling the community your story and I would like to see you all shout your story because even though you’re getting an increase in participation and members, when you look at the bigger community there are so many more out there and fighting that whole mindset of libraries are a thing of the past, nobody’s reading a book, well that’s not true,” Marshall said. “So the library here is a resource that expands beyond the books and I wish you all would tell that story in a way that engages more support.”

The East Parker County Library opened its doors in April 1989 after a group of concerned residents wanted to establish a library.

“[The] East Parker County Library has operated since July 14, 1994, as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization,” according to the library’s website. “The library operates with the support of [Parker County] cities — Aledo, the Annettas and Willow Park — fundraisers by Friends of the Library and donations. Today the East Parker County Library continues to benefit and serve all of Texas, especially Aledo, Annetta, Annetta North, Annetta South, Hudson Oaks and Willow Park. The library provides more than 20,000 books (print, eBooks and audio) and movies for over 4,000 member patrons.”

The Aledo City Council will plan to adopt the budget and tax rate on Sept. 26 after additional meetings and public hearings.