Missouri City City Council on Monday voted unanimously to adopt, on first and final reading, the proposed FY2013 Budget, after making amendments reducing the city’s overall ending fund balance to make cash available for employee salary increases.
The proposed budget for FY2013 projected revenues of $34,419,440, and expenditures of $31,902,653, leaving a total of $483,213 to be paid from the city’s reserve fund balance. Prior to the amendment, the proposed budget would leave a fund balance of approximately 25 percent, or $7.8 million. Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Wyatt proposed the amendment that the ending fund balance be reduced to 21 percent, or approximately $6.5 million, with the difference used to pay for salary increases.
“We keep asking our people to do more for less, we have to reward our people,” Wyatt said.
The city council also approved the budget based on continuing the FY2012 property tax rate of $0.5284 per $100 valuation. Finance Director Wes Vela had provided two options for the tax rate in the proposed budget, with the other option to increase the tax rate to $0.54571 per $100 valuation. Both proposed rates continued a maintenance and operations tax of $0.34773 for the city’s General Fund operations. The increased rate was proposed for the interest and sinking portion of the tax rate designated for payments on the city’s issued bonds.
The city will continue with an interest and sinking rate of $0.18067, as opposed to the increase, which would have brought the total to $0.19798 per $100 valuation. The city’s bond payment debt balance will decrease to $3,983,926 as a result no tax rate increase. Vela said the amount was “a sufficient ending balance”.
Wyatt said that the city had sufficient existing fund balance to draw on for the city’s expenditures, stating that the city is “not passing a deficit budget”.
Mayor Allen Owen noted that the city is drawing on its fund balance for a second year.
“We can’t do that every year,” Owen said.
The city council voted 5-0-2, with Wyatt and Robin Elackatt not voting, to approve the final reading of amendments to the city’s Sign Ordinance.
“These amendments seek to address changes in the advertising mediums used by sign and commercial businesses and respond to recurring requests, by businesses, for deviations through Planned Development Districts and Specific Use Permits,” Director of Developmental Services Gary Smith said. “Ultimately, these amendments seek to provide a balance between the continued promotion for the use of quality design and materials while also providing the flexibility for use of up-to-date technology and appropriate scale.”
The city council had approved the item with changes in the first reading, including allowing directional signs in all zoning districts, and removing conditionally exempt regulations for “human signs”, considering such signs as portable signs and prohibiting their use.
The city council voted unanimously to approve a term contract with Raven Mechanical, LP for plumbing services on an as-needed basis at city facilities.
Raven Mechanical submitted one of the two bids provided for the contract. The city council discussed the contract after receiving a question as to whether Raven provided the lower bid.
Raven Mechanical provided a lower hourly labor rate, $72.50, versus American Mechanical Services of Houston, LLC, which also submitted a bid that included an hourly labor rate of $82.50.
However, American Mechanical Services provided a lower trip charge, $35 per round trip to Raven’s $75, and an after-hours labor rate of $115, while Raven will charge $123.50 for after hours labor.
Council Member Bobby Marshall said the bids appeared to “be even” and supported the recommendation to award the contract to Raven Mechanical.
All other items were approved by unanimous vote. All members were present. Agenda