Shavano Park’s budget for fiscal year 2021-22 includes an overall 8% salary increase for city employees, several capital replacement requirements, and rising tax revenues.
But city officials acknowledge some budget challenges loom on the horizon.
The City Council unanimously voted Sept. 20 to adopt a $7.9 million budget, which takes effect Oct. 1. Shavano Park’s $5.79 million general fund budget, supporting daily operations, features a 5.1% pay hike and a 3% cost-of-living adjustment for city workers.
The public works department’s operating expenses will get a boost, especially in the scheduled street maintenance program, tree maintenance on city property, and continued landscaping and maintenance around City Hall.
The city plans to reserve money over time to address anticipated street maintenance requirements in the older part of town, including Saddletree Road, Shavano Drive and Fawn Drive, as well as the planned resurfacing of DeZavala and Lockhill Selma roads.
The new budget allows the fire department to replace two cardiac monitors/defibrillators.
Shavano Park is also receiving about $450,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act, the latest pandemic relief bill passed by Congress.
Mayor Bob Werner said during the height of the coronavirus outbreak, Shavano Park relied upon city staff ingenuity, fiscal awareness, and capital and operating reserves to move forward in an uncertain time.
“With those [ARPA] funds, we have been able to advance a number of scheduled capital purchases, which enhances our community’s opportunities as we continue to plan for our future,” Werner said.
That money will cover a variety of measures, including a computer replacement for public works and an emergency generator to supply backup power to the public works building and firefighters’ living quarters.
The federal emergency relief money will also support other equipment replacements for the fire and police department, with the latter using the funds to replace five computers and to buy new vehicle/body-worn cameras and duty rifles.
The city is keeping its total property tax rate at $0.287 per $100 valuation. A home valued at $775,753 will get a total tax bill of $2,232, according to local officials.
Taxable assessed values have risen 3.32%, from $1.40 billion in fiscal year 2021-21 to $1.45 billion estimated for the new fiscal year.
The city also projects a sales tax revenue increase from $520,000 last fiscal year to $610,000 this year. The town expects $8.03 million in total revenues, with slight reductions in franchise, permit and license fees.
However, City Manager Bill Hill noted some upcoming revenue issues.
“We have seen some recent budget trends and challenges: We have increasing taxable property values, but also increasing number of properties qualifying for the over-65 tax freeze,” Hill said. “We’re increasing sales tax and permit fees revenues, but also the city is nearing being built out and decreasing franchise fees revenues due to Texas law.”
Shavano Park is also doing its part to support the Texas Department of Transportation’s improvements on Northwest Military Highway.
“While work on Northwest Military Highway provides continuing challenges, we will enter the next budget cycle with as much excitement for our future as I have ever seen in our community,” Werner said.