San Marcos City Council and city staff could have new chambers in the coming years as the council prepares to adopt the proposed fiscal year 2023-24 budget, which includes $2.8 million to go toward a new City Hall.

The context

The City Council approved $6 million in the FY 2022-23 budget to go toward the start of design concepts for the new facility. According to the city's 10-year Capital Improvements Plan—which was released in April—an additional $80 million in funding will be sought through a potential 2026 bond election.

The CIP is broken down into various categories within the city that each have a set of goals:
  • Economic development vision
  • Environment and resource protection
  • Land use
  • Neighborhoods and housing
  • Parks, public spaces and facilities
  • Transportation
Developing a plan for locating the site of the new City Hall is one of the top goals under parks, public spaces and facilities, with a focus on prioritizing the downtown area for the facility.

What else?

The entirety of the FY 2023-24 proposal comes with a $321 million operating budget, a 7% increase from last year's, according to agenda documents.

The budget also supports the addition of 29 new positions within the city including:
  • Five firefighters
  • Three police officers
  • One city marshal
  • One city clerk
The property tax rate will remain the same, at $0.6030 per $100 valuation, which will generate nearly $50 million of revenue for the city. However, residents may see an increase in some services after the Citizen Utility Advisory Board recommended a 5% rate adjustment for electric, water and wastewater services in July, according to the budget proposal.

The increase in average monthly fees are as follows:
  • $1.71 for electric
  • $2.82 for water
  • $2.41 for wastewater
  • $0.86 for resource recovery
  • $0.85 for community enhancement
Next steps

The City Council will hold public hearings Sept. 5 and 19 on the proposed budget, tax rate and service fee increases; the dais will also vote to adopt both Sept. 19.