Budget and tax rate public hearings scheduled September 4.
City Council heard the final staff presentations of the Fiscal Year 2019 Proposed Budget at a special workshop this afternoon. They also received presentations from six community partner organizations that receive City funds each year.
The proposed budget totals more than $181 million including more than $3.6 million designated for community partners. Some allocations are based on formulas while others are based on requests by the organizations.
Bell County Communications Center, which handles dispatch of 9-1-1 calls for emergency service, is set to receive $1,478,732 based on Killeen’s system usage. The Tax Appraisal District of Bell County will receive $510,278, and Bell County Health Department will receive $331,368 both based on formulas.
Killeen Economic Development Corporation is proposed to receive $386,354, and the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce is proposed to receive $338,700 in the coming fiscal year. Both allocations are the same as the current year and will be divided equally between the General Fund and the Water and Sewer Fund.
Hill Country Transit District (The HOP) has requested $455,749 of City funding. This is a 277 percent increase over the current year’s allocation and. The City Manager included the full request amount to preserve the funding decision for City Council.
Killeen Volunteers, Inc. has a proposed allocation of $100,000 to carry out its annual program of work. Community-wide volunteer efforts include Make a Difference Day and the Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off and events include the Celebrate Killeen Festival and the annual Christmas parade.
Following the regular City Council meeting at 5 p.m., the body resumed its discussion of the budget. Members focused largely on the HOP funding request and reached a consensus to reduce the proposed funding to the current level, $120,850. Suggestions were offered for reallocating the remaining $335,000 and included street maintenance, sewer line repairs, ambulance staffing and employee compensation. No decisions were reached.
As delivered August 7, the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Budget and Plan of Municipal Services is balanced with an estimated ending fund balance projected at 21.33 percent. The initial proposal maintained the current tax rate of 74.98 cents; however, City Council set the preliminary rate at 75.75 cents. There remain no proposed increases in utility fees or user fees.
The public has its opportunity to join the budget discussion at three upcoming public hearings. City Council has set September 4 for two hearings, one on the proposed budget and the other on the proposed tax rate. A second tax rate hearing is scheduled September 11. All will be at 5 p.m. at the Utility Collections Building located at 210 W. Avenue C.
City Council will continue deliberating the proposal through budget adoption scheduled September 18. Fiscal Year 2019 begins October 1, 2018 and ends September 30, 2019.
The entire proposed budget is available at KilleenTexas.gov/Budget along with links to all documents, presentations, notices and videos.