Georgetown City Council members voted to amend the city’s fiscal year 2023-24 budget to reflect a $26 million increase in expenses at an April 9 meeting.

The amendment includes rising costs for some capital projects and an increase in public safety positions. The amended budget also accounts for a $20 million increase in revenue from interest earnings, bond proceeds, the Two Step Inn Festival, and increased water and wastewater rates, said Nathan Parras, the city’s assistant finance director, at the meeting.

The breakdown

Prices have escalated for several infrastructure projects, including increases of $4.5 million for the Austin Avenue pedestrian bridge and $3 million for the Austin Avenue bridge rehabilitation project, Parras said. Council members approved a contractor to complete the selected design for the $18.3 million pedestrian bridge at the April 9 meeting.

Other sizable increases include $3 million in additional costs for Georgetown’s first parking garage downtown, which the city broke ground on in late March, and $3 million for improvements at the intersection of Southwestern Boulevard and SE Inner Loop.

The city will transfer $10 million in expenses for a voter-approved YMCA facility from its FY 2023-24 budget to FY 2024-25 based on updates to the project’s timing, Parras said.

Additionally, the budget reflects fully staffed police and fire departments with $880,000 for three new police positions, $700,000 for five fire positions and overtime for both departments, Parras said. Council member Mike Triggs pointed out that first responders are often working overtime as the Georgetown Square needs monitoring on Thursday through Sunday evenings.

The budget amendment has placed additional dollars toward the city’s streetlight project, with $54,000 for an electric distribution troubleshooter position, $181,000 for streetlight repair costs and $500,000 for two bucket trucks. The city will also hire an Airport Operations Manager in May for $28,000, Parras said.

New water and wastewater rates that took effect April 1 are expected to bring the city almost $6 million in revenue. The city will spend an additional $4.6 million on a groundwater reservation agreement that is expected to provide Georgetown 60 years of water security, according to previous reporting by Community Impact.

Click here to view the full list of changes to the FY 2023-24 budget.

Going forward

As city officials begin planning for the next budget cycle, City Manager David Morgan said they will need to focus on their highest priorities for the budget while looking to cut back in other funding areas.

“It'll be a challenging budget year this year, but I know we've got a good team. ... So roll up your sleeves and get it done,” Morgan said.

The FY 2024-25 budget is projected to account for the following factors, Parras said: