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HomeMy WebLinkAboutMIN 08.11.2004 CC-RThe City Council of the City of Georgetown, Texas, met in Regular Session on the above date with Mayor Gary Nelon presiding. Council Present, I' Council Absent: Patty Eason, Gabe Sansing, Doug Smith, Henry All Council Present Carr, John Kirby, Farley Snell, Ben Oliver Paul Brandenburg, City Manager; Tom Yantis, Assistant City Manager; Jim Briggs, Assistant City Manager for Utility Operations; Trish Carls, City Attorney; Sandra Lee, City Secretary; Micki Rundell, Director of Finance and Administration; Anthony Lincoln, Fire Chief; David Morgan, Police Chief; Randy Morrow, Director of Community Services; Mark Thomas, Economic Development Director; Dave Hall, Building Official; Dennis Schoenborn, Director of Information Technology; Eric Lashley, Libray Director; Glenn Dishong, Water Services Manager; Travis McLain, Airport Manager; Laurie Brewer, Controller; Terry Jones, Purchasing Director; Leticia Zavala, Chief Accountant; Lori Lankford, Staff Accountant; Kevin Russell, Human Resources Generalist; Paul Pausewang, Vehicle Service Center Supervisor; Kathy Ragsdale, Utility Office Director; Shelly Hargrove, Main Street Manager; Kevin Stofle, Assistant Police Chief; Mark Miller, Transportation Services Manager; Tom Benz, Systems Engineering Manager; Kimberly Garrett, Recreation and Programs Assistant Director; Clay Shell, Assistant Fire Chief; Jose Lara, Utilities Financial Analyst; Keith Hutchinson, Public Information Officer A. Overview of the City Manager's Proposed Annual Operating Plan for 2004/05 -- Micki Rundell, Director of Finance and Administration and Paul Brandenburg Brandenburg thanked staff for the lengthy process to develop the budget. He said the total budget is $108 million and includes the 20 Council priorities and the priorities of the citizen survey. He explained that Georgetown used to have an artificially low tax rate because of the transfers from the General Fund and sacrifices made by staff with cuts in budgets and hiring freezes. He said this budget catches up in those areas and is proactive. He said it will include a 5.7% increase over the effective rate, with 2% going towards operations, funding the General Fund. Rundell gave Council the history, where a large shortfall, that began in the late 80's, created a "gap" or WTTB (What it Takes To Balance). She said, in 2001, the Council adopted a new policy for the 2001/02 budget to match operating expenses with operating budgets, and enacted "Scenario H." She reviewed the highlights of the proposed budget and spoke to Council about the sales tax projections, proposed rate increases, proposed fee adjustments, capital improvement program, and proposed debt. Brandenburg explained that the budget process constantly evolves. He said this year a new plan was implemented for the Council to set priorities. He reviewed those priorities and explained how this budget will implement those priorities. He reviewed the budget adoption process timeline. B. Discussion and possible action to provide staff direction in finalizing the 204/05 City Manager's Proposed Budget, including a recommended tax rate -- Micki Rundell, Director of Finance and Administration and Paul Brandenburg, City Manager Smith said he thinks a 4% increase in the budget is commendable and conservative. Nelon said he thinks the compensation for the Municipal Court Judge needs to be increased. City Council Meeting Minutes/August 11, 2004 Page 1 of 3 Pages Smith asked that the sidewalk to the River Ridge Pool and the sidewalk on River Down Road down to the river be completed. Transportation Services Manager, Mark Miller, confirmed that the projects are in the budget, and soon to be done. He questioned the use of City money to "fix up" motels. Brandenburg explained that the funding the City receives from the hotel/motel tax has to be spent on hotels/motels. He emphasized that the increased tourism would mean people would stay here and not go to Round Rock. Rundell said the money can only be spent to create "heads in beds," and the City is limited as to what it can be used for. Hargrove described it as needed "curb appeal." She said this money would be an incentive to get an improvement program started. She said criteria and guidelines will be developed, similar to the Facade Fund. Nelon asked about maintenance at the Grace Episcopal Church, saying it should be emphasized that the maintenance is for the Heritage Center, in an old former church building given to the City by Grace Episcopal Church. He asked that a change be made in the language in the detail. Kirby questioned the cost of $50,000 for the roof on the Center. Rundell explained that the roof has structural problems that need to be addressed and said the City owns the building. Sansing made some clarifications for the public about the amount allocated for a mechanic and the detail about the revenue/expense in utilities. Rundell said the systems must grow as the population grows and the systems are given regulatory mandates that need to be addressed. She said the City currently has over 18,500 utility customers. Kirby asked about the $125,000 for a park on the west side in order to have a ball field. He asked why the City couldn't partner with the school district and use one of their fields. Brandenburg said the money was put in for the purchase of flat land. He said other fields are already being used by private soccer, baseball and football leagues. Nelon said as people pay money into a park fund when they purchase their homes, they expect to see a park in their area. Kirby asked about partnering with the County. Morrow explained that the new regional park is being heavily used by Leander and Cedar Park because of their proximity to those areas. Snell asked about using city -owned land around the airport and around the fire station, and Brandenburg said the City is looking into that. Oliver asked about the line item for hiring someone to implement the GIS Plan. Yantis explained that the second position was included in the second phase of the plan that was adopted by the Council last year. Oliver asked about the transportation planner. Brandenburg said it was his opinion to use a contracted person for the first year. Snell said he commends the City Manager's process in preparing the budget. Sensing said he would like to get someone knowledgeable in the construction industry to help Terry Jones. Brandenburg said some changes have been made in restructuring the organization and will look back at mid year to see if additional funding can be found. Sansing said he hopes the motorcycle officers are generating revenue for the City. Sansing asked about the $1.2 million dollars allocated for the airport tower. Rundell noted that the money has been allocated but not appropriated. Motion by Sansing, second by Smith to continue the process on the City Manager's budget as presented. Motion by Snell, second by Smith to amend the previous motion that the City Manager adjust his budget to increase the new positions in public safety from 4 to 6 in Police and from 3 to 5 in Fire on a three-year rather than five-year tract to meet those numbers. Snell distributed a spread sheet that Brandenburg said he has reviewed and can agree with. Brandenburg said there would be an impact on the budget. Rundell said this would add 8.2% over the effective rate, and still be well below the rollback rate. She said it would be a 7.5% increase above the current tax rate and estimated it to be a proposed tax rate of $0.34626 per hundred dollars evaluation. Snell said what he most wanted to do was put the increase in staff on a three-year tract rather than a five-year tract. Snell asked that his motion to amend contain this new tax rate. Smith agreed as second to the motion. (The corrected language of the amended motion would be: "Motion to continue the process on the City Manager's budget as presented, but with an increase in the new positions for public safety from 4 to 6 in Police and from 3 to 5 in Fire on a three-year rather than a five-year tract to meet those numbers, and creating the need for an increase in the proposed property tax rate to $0.34626 per hundred dollars evaulation.") Kirby said he would like to have more time before reaching a conclusion. He said he was looking forward to bringing the budget down to keep the tax rate the same as last year. Nelon explained that this is not the final approval, just a preliminary effort to give staff the approval to make this work. Rundell explained that once the tax rate is approved, the Council can always go below, but cannot go above the approved rate. City Council Meeting Minutes/August 11, 2004 Page 2 of 3 Pages There was further dlscu´┐Ż>.,on about the process. Rundell noted that a resulution will come to Council on the 24th to put a tax rate on a future agenda. She said there would be a public hearing and two publications that include that proposed tax rate. Smith called the question. Sansing seconded. Approved 6-1. (Carr opposed) Vote on the amendment: Approved 5-2 (Carr and Kirby opposed) Smith said he thinks it would be appropriate to suggest changes for trimming the budget. Carr asked Brandenburg what would have to "come out" to put the tax rate "back." Brandenburg said it would be a difference of $310,000, the largest majority of that being personnel. He said he would take out the additional police and fire personnel, along with the increased library hours. Vote on the orignal motion as amended: Approved 5-2 (Kirby and Carr opposed) Rundell announced that the Tax Hearing will take place on Tuesday, September 7. The meeting was adjourned at 3:46 p.m. Approved: City Council Meeting Minutes/August 11, 2004 Page 3 of 3 Pages Attest: sanara Lee, city secretary