The $1.8 billion budget was approved by a 5-3 vote. Council Members Brian Byrd, Cary Moon and Jungus Jordan voted against the budget. Council Member Kelly Allen Gray was absent.
The FY 2019-20 budget represents an increase of 3.4% over the FY 2018-19 budget. According to a city news release, the budget will allow the city to add 114 new jobs, including staff for the Golden Triangle Library and for Fire Station 45 near US 287 and Harmon Road in Northeast Fort Worth.
The library is expected to open in late spring or early summer 2020. The fire station has not broken ground but is slated to open in 2021, according to Fort Worth City Council Member Dennis Shingleton, who represents District 7 in Northeast Fort Worth.
Shingleton said some of the new positions will also include police officers to be assigned to the North Fort Worth Police District.
The budget also includes cash funding increases for capital projects, such as street maintenance and repair and improvements to neighborhood safety. It will also allow the city to implement its 2018 bond program while it plans for a 2022 bond program, according to the release.
Council also approved reducing the city’s property tax rate by $0.0375 to $0.7475 per $100 valuation. Given the new property tax rate and the city’s homestead exemption, a home worth $200,000 will incur $1,196 in annual property taxes under the new rate, the release said.
“It’s a good package for the city,” Shingleton said of the budget and tax rate. “It helps our parks and recreation, streets, roads—you name it. And there’s no tax increase for our citizens. I think we’ve covered all the bases with this budget.
“Is it perfect? Absolutely not,” he added. “But the important and high-priority options for our citizens, in the north and citywide, are addressed in this budget, and I think we’ll be just fine.”