Lewisville City Council held its first of two public hearings Sept. 3 to consider the fiscal year 2019-20 tax rate and proposed budget, which accounts for increased spending toward public safety, parks and recreation, and public infrastructure.
Council will host its second and final public hearing on the proposed tax rate and budget Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. at Lewisville City Hall. The final vote on the budget and the tax rate will be taken by council at its Sept. 16 regular meeting.
The proposed tax rate is $0.443301 per $100 valuation. If approved, the rate would be slightly higher than the current rate, which is $0.436086 per $100 valuation.
If the proposed budget is approved, it will earmark funds to hire 10 new police officers and three police civilian positions. City officials said these positions were identified as a need in a recent police department staffing efficiency study completed by by a third-party consulting firm. The new police officer positions are expected to cost more than $1.5 million, according to the proposed budget.
Additionally, the proposed budget allocates funds toward opening Thrive, which will be a new multigenerational recreation center and indoor aquatic facility. The center was approved by voters in a November 2015 bond election and is expected to open next summer.
According to the city’s budget presentation, Thrive will be more than triple the size of Lewisville’s two existing recreation centers, which Thrive is set to replace. Thrive will offer longer operating hours and expanded programming, which will result in $1.5 million more in operating costs, according to the presentation.
The proposed budget also accounts for the maintenance of the city’s streets, alleys, sidewalks and other infrastructure.
More than 55% of the general fund in the proposed budget would go toward the police and fire departments, 13% would help fund public services, and 9% would be designated for parks and recreation.