Granite Shoals finalizes tax rate, budget

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander


The Granite Shoals City Council was unanimous in approval of the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 tax rate and budget in a brief meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7.

Finance Director Wendy Gholsen led council members through requisite vote to ratify the increase the new tax rate represents before moving on to the ordinance to adopt it.

The new rate approved is $0.56313 per $100 valuation, divided into a maintenance and operation fund (M&O) rate of $0.34828 per $100 and interest and sinking fund (I&S) of $0.21485 per $100. The rate last year was $0.54720 per $100 valuation.

Effectively, that is a 5.9 percent increase from last year. The impact is $1.33 per month on a property valued at $100,000, or $15.93 cents per year.

The total of expenditures from all funds in the budget is $7,568,765, allowing for a surplus of $28,163 to be added to reserve funds.

Anticipating the finalization of a one-year agreement for fire service with the Burnet County Emergency Service District 3 (ESD #3), Gholson and City Manager Ken Nickel had made an adjustment in the budget presented at public hearings.

Specifically, it contained $9,561 less in revenue from ESD #3.

I attended their board meeting a week ago Thursday afternoon,” said Nickel. “The discussion was spinning its wheels on the five-year contract we proposed. I pulled it and offered only the one-year contract. Only their board president Mr. Tatom voted no.”

I feel good about it,” Nickel continued. “We are talking about having two qualified fire fighters on duty 24-hours a day, seven days a week, starting in October.”

Based on success by Fire Chief Austin Stanphill to attract grants in the past, Nickel said he felt confident in assigning the shortfall to a line item for grants.

Nickel said he expected to hear soon that the ESD had approved their contract and he said only minor changes were being written into the five-year contract with the City of Highland Haven, beginning at $75,000 in the coming fiscal year.

The council will resume its regular schedule meetings at 6 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, Sept. 12.

The Beautification Advisory Group (BAG), will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, and City Secretary Elaine Simpson said their work as steering Committee for the annual Christmas by the Highway project) has begun.

There are vacancies on this committee for anyone who might like to apply for consideration (or who) would just like to 'lend a hand' during the preparation for Christmas by the Highway.

I will post their work days on the city website for anyone interested in just volunteering for a shift or two as a helper.”

Also Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m., the Wildlife Advisory Committee will meet to continue preparations for its second year of a deer management program, beginning in October.

Focus of the Granite Shoals Parks Committee at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, will be last minute preparations for the rescheduled family event in Bluebriar Park.

'Movie In The Park' night will be Saturday, Sept. 16th.

The invitation reads, “Bring your lawn chairs and see a family friendly movie with your neighbors.”


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