Shavano Park City Council on Sept. 18 approved the fiscal year 2023-24 budget, which features pay raises for city staff, increases for public safety and public works, and a small property tax rate hike to cover road bond projects.

The background

The Sept. 18 council meeting offered the second of two readings of an ordinance approving the FY 2023-24 operating budget, which is balanced at $6.71 million in revenue and $6.71 million in expenditures—higher than the FY 2022-23 general fund budget that totaled $6.34 million in revenue and $6.34 million in expenses.

The new budget includes $2.38 million for the fire department—an increase over last year’s expenditure of $2.18 million—and $2.26 million for police, higher than $2.13 million spent for law enforcement last year.

According to city officials, planned major expenditures in the new fiscal year include replacing two police patrol vehicles; purchasing four rugged police laptops, new mobile routers and computers for the fire department; replacing the public works department's small dump truck; and upgrading the water system.

Local officials said $5,000 will also be used for annual membership with the greater:SATX regional economic partnership to help developer Denton Communities/Bitterblue open up marketing opportunities for an available 23-acre commercial property.

Additionally, Shavano Park’s water utility signed a lease for 165 acre-feet of Edwards Aquifer water rights for the rest of this calendar year, city officials said

Dig deeper

The new budget has market-based salary hikes for fire and police personnel, pay grade increases for public works employees, and a 5% cost-of-living increase with a 2.5% step pay hike for all city staff.

Additionally, the budget provides a 10.3% boost in the city’s contribution for employee health benefits and a 25% contribution to dependents’ health plans.

The new budget will receive support from a property tax rate of $0.307 per $100 valuation—a rise from the $0.297 rate for FY 2022-23. The higher tax rate will help cover debt associated with the 2022 voter-approved $10 million bond that is funding citywide road improvements.

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.