Ballinger city manager Tommy Turney released an overview of the FY2019-2020 city budget that was recently passed.
Originally the budget was going to include a tax rate increase by the city but due to negative public response the city adopted the same tax rate from last year. Property valuations increased over $16,000,000.00 in the city and over $66,000,000 in the county. Those valuation increases, coupled with an increased tax rate from the city, would make a significant financial impact on every property owner in the city. The public responded at a city council meetings along with tax rate and budget workshops in September. After careful consideration the council adopted the 2018-2019 tax rate for the current fiscal year.
Turney was hired as the city manager in August of 2018 and took over after the FY2018-2019 budget had already been adopted, “I could either come in and make drastic changes or I could ride out the budget that had been adopted and make changes this year. I chose to ride it out and get a better feel for the city’s financial situation. Now we move forward with this budget and give a great deal of attention to our fiscal situation every day. The city has had financial problems in the past, we have no reserves other than 2 CDs that have loans against them, so now we start working our way back into the black. We’ve already started working towards that end.”
Turney replied to an email from the newspaper asking about the highlights of the new budget:
“The FY 2019/2020 budget for the City of Ballinger was adopted on 20 Sept 2019.
The major highlight of this budget was that the City was able to keep the same tax rate as last year, (.532428). The City Council was able to keep the same rate by taking advantage of the state mandated property valuation increase, which allowed the city to receive $72,555.00 in additional property tax revenue, combined with trimming the overall City budget from $5,628,277.00 last year to $5,342,191.00 this year, netting a total budget reduction of $286,086.00.
Most of the budget cuts came from reducing overtime, streamlining some of our maintenance efforts, and reducing our workforce through attrition.
The City is also very excited to see some of our grant applications resulting in awards for the City. We have recently been awarded a $30,000.00 grant for a new patrol vehicle, a $500,000.00 grant for 2 new vehicles for the Fire Department, and we anticipate a $275,000.00 grant for street paving for our city streets, to be awarded by the end of the year. The addition of these funds to the City goes a long way in improving our city services and growing our community.”
If you have questions or comments regarding the budget, you can contact Turney at city hall at (325) 365-3511 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.