Lakeway City Council presses on with budget talks at meeting Monday

Lakeway City Council continued discussions of its fiscal year 2018-19 budget, during which it also set its proposed property tax rate at $0.1645 per $100 valuation. Key topics included building and development revenue, activities center and swim center recapture and special revenue fund budgets.

During its meeting Monday, Sept. 10, the City Council proposed a 20 percent increase in rentals and a $5 membership fee increase to the city's activities center. There is also a proposed $1 increase in daily use fees for the swim center as well as a proposed 20 percent membership fee increase.

City Manager Steve Jones said the goal with these proposed increases is to bring the centers’ recapture rates, or the percentage the city seeks to receive back in the form of charges for services, to 50 percent for the activities center and 45 percent for the swim center.

The city is proposing to eliminate a part-time position within the activities center that has been vacant for several months at a savings of $16,000. Officials are also looking at restructuring positions at the swim center from two managers to one manager and an assistant manager, as well as eliminating another part-time position for a total savings of about $30,000.

Officials are looking at reducing its capital outlay by $40,000, bringing it to $310,000 total, a sum that Jones said still covers vehicles and equipment needed in the coming year’s budget.

These proposed changes and more render the city able to operate on its proposed tax rate of $0.1645 per $100 valuation, Jones said. Also proposed for the budget is a transfer of $350,000 to the capital reserve fund.

“That gets us a 30 percent fund balance, which meets our new goal that was just adopted tonight, with an ending fund balance of $4.3 million,” Jones said of the general fund.

Lakeway City Council plans to adopt the city’s tax rate and FY 2018-2019 budget at its Sept. 17 meeting.
Other takeaways from the Lakeway budget workshop:

-Jones said Lakeway officials expect a little over $1 million in revenue next year from hotel occupancy tax revenue.

-The council discussed court revenue funds, of which officials anticipate taking in about $17,000 from citations to be used for child safety, specifically paying for crossing guards at schools.

-The Parkland Fund budget should take in about $89,000 next year from fees generated by new subdivisions coming into Lakeway, Jones said.

-The court building security fund budget is being used faster than it is being replenished, so discussions on reducing bailiff staffing from three to two might need to take place, Jones said.

-About $12,000 in revenue from citations should come into the court technology fund budget, Jones said.

By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.