Kyle city manager presents budget

In a special called meeting on July 31, Kyle City Manager Lanny Lambert presented his proposed budget for FY 2014–15 to Kyle City Council.

The proposal would keep the tax rate at $0.5483 per $100.

Accounting for all city funds, the budget totals $53.8 million. About 28 percent of that figure is proposed to fund capital improvement projects, including $5.1 million for the engineering and easements of the five roads set to be improved upon with bond money, which was approved in a 2013 citywide election.

Another $5.1 million would go toward the Southside wastewater collection system, and $1.3 million is dedicated for wastewater improvements in Bunton Creek.

The ability to invest capital in these projects was due in part to the city's fiscal conservatism and increased revenue projections, Lambert said.

Mayor Todd Webster had yet to view the proposal before entering the July 31 budget workshop. He said the city has a history of being off in its revenue assumptions and would not be afraid to question city staff during the process of configuring the budget, which must be adopted before Oct. 1.

"I'm willing to challenge some of the fundamental assumptions behind the recent history that has created some of the constraints," Webster said. "In my view, they're choking the city."

All city funds except for the general fund—which contains revenue such as sales and property tax and expenditures such as human resources—were presented as balanced. Expenditures eclipsed revenues by $1.6 million.

Three new police officers are being proposed in the budget, and a part-time animal control officer may be moved to full-time. Altogether, public safety expenditures comprise the largest portion of the budget.

Four more budget workshops are scheduled for Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27. On the latter two dates, there will be public hearings on the property tax rate.

The first and second readings of an ordinance to adopt the budget and the property tax rate are scheduled for Sept. 2 and 3, respectively.