Denison leaders and city staff gathered Friday to discuss the upcoming budget for the next fiscal year during the city council’s annual retreat Friday. The annual meeting gave the first glimpse at what projects and new expenses city leaders will prioritize over the next year.
The budget is expected to be discussed throughout July and August before being considered for adoption in September.
“(This is) to determine the main priorities and projects for the next fiscal year, while also looking out at the next few years at what is important and what the city needs to look at,” City Manager Jud Rex said.
Here is a look at Friday’s discussions by the numbers.
$25.91 million — The projected general fund revenue for Denison over the 2019 fiscal year. This projection includes $8.93 million is property tax revenue, based on staff recommendation that the tax rate remain $0.633377 per $100 of assessed value. The proposed revenue represents an increase of $556,623 over 2018, however city officials said it will still be some time before final property values and revenues are determined.
$12.60 million — The projected utility fund revenue for the 2019 fiscal year. The utility fund is expected to see an increase in revenue of $300,922 over the 2018 fiscal year. The projected revenue comes as the city of Denison prepares to enter into the fifth and final year of a series of capital improvements that have been supported by gradual increases to the city’s water rate since 2015. The final rate increase is expected to go into place this December.
$9.09 million — The value of requests for new and one-time expenses for this fiscal year. This represents capital and personnel expenses and line item increases. Denison Financial and Administrative Services Director Renee Waggoner said this is nearly double the $5 million in requests that were made this time last year. Of those requests, the city was able to fulfill $3 million of expenses.
$1.3 million — The cost for a new fire truck for Denison Fire Rescue. It is the largest expense among the $9.09 million in requests. The call for a new truck comes as the department is looking to remove a new pump truck and 21-year-old ladder truck that are approaching the end of their useful life with the department. As such, the department is looking to fill this gap with a vehicle that can fill both roles, officials said.
$575,000 — The cost of renovations and improvements to Denison’s fire station on Morton Street. As the facility is beginning to show its age, fire department officials proposed a series of renovations and improvements to the facility. The largest improvement will come in the form of upgrades to the living space. This will include changes that will allow the building to house both male and female firefighters. The expense will also cover the demolition of the site’s training tower, among other improvements.
$500,000 — The projected cost to increase salary and benefits for civil service employees. Among the major points of discussion during Friday’s meeting was increases to the city’s pay scale for civil service employees. This move is an effort by the city to help retain firefighters and police recruits who have been recruited in recent years by other departments soon after they have completed training.