Prior to next month’s public hearing, Mineral Wells city council Tuesday continued budget discussions for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

City Manager Randy Criswell went over some highlights on the “lean” proposed budget, which included recommendations to fund some additional items in the general fund.

Those recommendations included a new engineering technician position, financing for a backhoe for the water department, financing for a crew truck for the facility/maintenance department and about $9,000 for a golf cart for the cemetery.

After that funding, the general fund comes out to about $13.7 million, Criswell said, with $10.7 million in the water fund.

Criswell also noted the city will be making a transfer of about $1.6 million from the water fund to help balance the general fund.

The proposed budget also includes a $200,000 transfer as a revenue to the general fund for the worker’s comp fund.

“You will notice a fund balance appropriation of $230,000 for grant matches,” Criswell told council members.

That amount includes $70,000 for sidewalks for the Downtown Rehabilitation Project, $100,000 for paving projects and $60,000 for a new fire truck with ladder apparatus.

“There is a reasonable chance that the $60,000 will not be needed this year, but in the event that is it, that money is there,” Criswell said.

The proposed budget includes no appropriated fund balance in the water fund or the airport fund.

“The tax rate at $.6912 per $100 valuation is the rate that we will adopt in a couple of weeks,” Criswell said.

That proposed rate is the same as the city’s existing rate.

The city manager also noted that water and sewer usage fees will increase, based on results of a utility rate study that was done. The increase in rates is expected to be about 7-9%.

The proposed budget also includes a raise of about 2% for employees, and $24,504 in unallocated reserve in the public works administration account, which would be used for discretionary items that needed to be dealt with.

A public hearing is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 8. 


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