Sherman is moving up the planned purchase of a fire truck, rescue truck and ambulance for the city’s fire department in order to take advantage of some cost savings.


The Sherman City Council recently approved an amendment to the city’s current 2016-2017 budget to appropriate and allocate additional funds that will ensure yearend expenses are less than the amounts city staff is authorized to spend. The amendment will authorize an additional $2.592 million in expenditures and see an increase in receipts of $7.147 million from debt proceeds and fund transfers.


“We do this every year, we have kind of a clean-up budget amendment to true up the budget to what happens with our expenditures,” Director of Finance Mary Lawrence said. “This year, a lot of our amendment has to do with growth.”


Lawrence explained the $1.6 million in equipment purchases for Sherman Fire-Rescue were budgeted for in the upcoming 2017-2018 fiscal year budget but are being moved to this year as part of the budget amendment.


“We’re going to move that up to 2017 because we can receive some very favorable delivery terms if we go ahead and order those pieces now,” Lawrence said. “And then we have some appropriations for our portion of a match on the grant-funded ambulance purchase.”


The biggest allocations included in the amendment were for the city’s new Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones No. 5 and No. 6, which are on the south and north ends of town, respectively. Sherman’s TIRZ No. 5 is on the northwest corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 75 and FM 1417, and TIRZ No. 6 includes the southeast and southwest corners of the intersection of Hwy. 75 and FM 691.


The budget amendment appropriated additional funding in TIRZ No. 5 for debt proceeds of around $3.9 million and costs for infrastructure and debt issuance of $230,000, while TIRZ No. 6 will see about $3.1 million for debt proceeds and $50,000 for costs for infrastructure and debt issuance.


The TIRZ areas were put in place to promote development the city said would not occur exclusively through private investment in the foreseeable future. The TIRZ areas will generate funds for the city’s Tax Increment Financing Policy, which the city uses to fund capital projects and their maintenance and infrastructure. City staff said a portion of the increases in taxable value in the two new TIRZ areas after the current tax year will be dedicated to improvements to public infrastructure in the zones.


The amendment also appropriates $250,000 for a fund merger of water consumer deposits with the city’s utility fund; $200,000 for the general fund for a land purchase on FM 1417 for the construction of public improvements; $115,000 for grants and tourism programs for the Hotel-Motel Tax Fund; $100,000 for interfund revenue and repair and maintenance expense for the equipment services fund; and $47,000 for property tax revenues and interest expense for the 2017 refunding bonds.