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A WORD FROM THE MAYOR
The Pearsall City Council approved the 2021-2022 budget on Wednesday, September 29 during a special called meeting. I want to thank the city council, city manager and staff for their hard work in getting the budget in place and approved.
Ad Valorem Taxes (real estate) were not raised above last year’s level of $.86 per $100 valuation. We did see a drop in the overall tax base for the city, which will mean the city will actually take in less tax revenue in the coming year. Utility rates saw a slight increase over last year. Other major revenues are from local sales tax, the pilot agreement from STEC and franchise fees. We approved a budget that is slightly under $12 million in revenue, that balances and is offset by the same amount of expenses. These figures do not include APR proceeds.
I’m very proud of the move to improve our salary structure for our city workers, bringing up staff members whose salary was below peers, as reflected in an independent salary survey the city had prepared. We will be adding some additional police officers, new police units, a new fire truck and we have budgeted $300,000 for street upgrades. We believe we can add even more funds this year in the hopes of making upgrades to roads that are heavily traveled and in the worst condition.
Additionally, we entered into an agreement to have the wood pile at the transfer station removed, the one that has plagued us for the last couple of decades. There are many more positive items in this budget, but yet we still have much work to do.
The budget process is very interesting to go through, I can understand why some would have questions about various aspects and expenses. It’s a long and tedious exercise where your elected officials are heavily involved in determining what is a priority. Additionally there are bylaws, opportunity for public comments on both proposed, posted tax rates and the budget, to which unfortunately there has been very little public feedback.
It is easy to Monday morning quarterback the process and the decisions, but without understanding all that goes into creating and approving a budget, it’s easy to misunderstand the intent of what we are trying to accomplish. I am happy to discuss these issues and listen to comments, with any citizen.
I hold office hours at the new city hall every Wednesday from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and all are welcome.
God Bless the City of Pearsall, the County of Frio, the State of Texas, the United States of America and You.
Ben T. Briscoe
Mayor of Pearsall