League City City Council amends FY 2018-19 budget, readies FY 2019-20 budget

The League City City Council on July 9 amended the city’s fiscal year 2018-19 budget and prepared to create its FY 2019-20 budget.

Under the ordinance council passed, there is a net increase of $210,000 to the city’s general fund budget and $50,000 to the public access channel budget for 2018-19.

The $210,000 increase comes from the purchase of a new alerting system at fire stations Nos. 1-5.

Merit pay and insurance increases totaling about $338,000 will come from the city’s general fund non-departmental personnel services budget. About $63,500 was reallocated between other budgets to cover expenses, such as the May special election, according to city documents.

Council also approved pulling from the utility fund non-departmental personnel services budget about $63,000 for other merit pay and insurance increases.

“The increased amount is allocated to the appropriate departments based on the department’s year-end estimates,” the city documents read.

The utility fund budget increase will be offset by decreases in the same amount, resulting in a net-zero change.

Finally, the city’s public access channel will see a $50,000 budget increase for 2018-19.

About $30,000 will be used for equipment for the city’s livestreaming studio, a multibox that will be used to produce clean audio at press briefings, and a golf cart staff can use to transport heavy equipment to special events, such as public holiday celebrations, Budget and Project Management Director Angie Steelman said.

Council Member Nick Long asked what would be done with the golf cart when events are not happening.

“I just wanna make sure it’s going to be used,” he said.

Director of Communications and Media Relations Sarah Greer Osborne said the parks department and other city staff would use the golf cart so its potential is not being wasted.

About $15,000 of the public access channel budget increase is related to cubicle and electrical to move employees to a new workspace, and the remaining $5,000 is to buy two new computers to replace failing ones.

Council Member Andy Mann was the only council member to vote against the budget amendments.

This month, the council will meet several times to workshop the FY 2019-20 budget. The council will meet July 22, 29 and 30, and there will be a budget public hearing Aug. 13.

Council Member Chad Tressler said budget workshops are lightly attended by residents and encouraged the public to attend to ensure the budget is the best it can be.
By Jake Magee

Editor, Bay Area & Pearland/Friendswood

Jake has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper. Today, he covers everything from aerospace to transportation to flood mitigation.