By Joe Reavis
Princeton City Council lined out its budget work over the next two months, setting dates to adopt the tax rate and budget, and to conduct public hearings.
The council met in regular session Monday evening at city hall.
City staff has been working on the fiscal year 2015-’16 budget for the past few months and the council gets involved Aug. 3 when they are slated to talk about the tax rate. Certified property tax rolls will be released by Collin Central Appraisal District this month.
Current Princeton property tax rate is 72.18 cents per $100 assessed valuation, which was predicted to generate $2.3 million in revenue toward funding the $4.5 million portion of the general fund. Expenses were pegged at $4.6 million.
The council will conduct a public hearing Aug. 17 on the tax rate and a second public hearing Sept. 8 on the tax rate and budget. Final tax rate approval will be Sept. 21.
The meeting this week started with a presentation from Shirley Clark and Barbara Thomas of a pair of handmade wall hangings, one each for the police and fire departments. The wall hangings feature department patches, fire and police scenes, and were given in appreciation of work and dedication of police officers and firefighters.
A thank you was given to the council by the Rev. Chad Rowell of First Baptist Church for the city’s work in repairing potholes on the street in front of the church.
The council voted to pass a half dozen items on the consent agenda, items that had previously received council attention, including approval of a consulting contract with Edward Peacock, CPA for interim financial support services, an interlocal agreement with Collin County for emergency dispatch services and an agreement with Collin County for jail services.
City Manager Derek Borg and the city received recognition from Government Finance Officers Association for the quality of budget preparation for FY 2014-’15.
Borg reported that the GFOA represents more than 18,000 government officials throughout the country and that the organization presents the only national awards for government budget efforts.
“From my point of view, I would like to say thank you to all the staff that made this happen,” the city manager said.
Mayor pro tem Steve Deffibaugh suggested two future agenda items including a proclamation congratulating Alice Arp for being selected for a Habitat for Humanity home and giving recognition to city staff for the work on the city Fourth of July celebration.
Borg informed the council that the city needs to post new signs by Sept. 1 to continue a prohibition against firearms in city facilities. The signage change is related to passage this year by the Texas Legislature that will allow the open carry of firearms beginning Jan. 1.