City Administrator Byron Hebert presented a balanced, $24.5 million budget to members of the Katy City Council during a budget workshop Aug. 25. The final budget is expected to be on the council agenda for potential approval at its Sept. 26 meeting.
“We are able to give you a balanced budget and we feel we have a great 2016-17 budget,” Hebert said. “You will see in this budget we are really moving public safety forward.”
Hebert told the council the city is in its fourth year of a five year plan to reduce taxes for residents, and also announced the fiscal year 2016-17 property tax rate will be set at 0.50672 per $100 valuation, lower than expected. Additionally, city employees are set to receive a 3 percent cost of living raise in the new budget.
The city is nearing the end of residential development buildout, and Hebert said the only developments remaining that are still building homes are Young Ranch, Cane Island and the proposed Ardenwood Park.
“By encouraging commercial growth, we can reduce tax burdens on our residents,” he said. “We have done a great job with annexation to protect us. It has helped us to prevent any shortfalls we may have.”
Hebert discussed many of the city’s upcoming projects as well as the sources of revenue for the general fund during the presentation.
The city plans to hire a variety of new personnel during the upcoming fiscal year, including two new building inspectors, one records management clerk for the city secretary, one records management clerk for the permits department, and an information technology help desk position for the city’s finance department.
In public safety, the city is planning to hire a new emergency dispatcher, six new firefighters, one additional assistant fire chief and one new police officer, Hebert said.
The city also plans to rebuild the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in VFW Park, which was destroyed in the April 18 floods. The goal is to make it a museum, Hebert said.