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Council approves first read of budget

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The Highland Village City Council approved the first read of the FY 2011-2012 Budget at their September 13 meeting.

For the current year, appraised value increased 3 percent from last year’s certified roll. Likewise, total projected revenues reflect an increase of less than 1 percent. Accordingly, the base level of expenditures presented for Council consideration remains at last year’s level, city officials said.

There is no proposed change to the current property tax rate of $.56963 per $100 of property valuation.

The projected fund balance will provide opportunity for consideration of supplemental items – new programs or equipment – with the vast majority being one-time expenditures, such as a new air-truck for the Fire Department, road striping equipment and resurfacing the Sellmeyer tennis courts and electronic security for the Fire Station, officials said.

Initiatives for the FY 11-12 budget year include full deployment of an automated meter reading system, redesign of the city website and creation of a website for the Highland Village Business Association, a Vievu Video Camera Program to equip patrol officers with wearable video cameras and expanded recreation programs. The final read of the Budget will be considered at the September 27 council meeting.

“Extensive time and effort is spent each year on our budget process. Year after year our financial policies are validated. The council is proud that this budget includes an increase in the merit pay pool as well as benefit incentives for our leadership team. Furthermore our council continues to cut wasteful spending, as evidenced by a 40% decrease over the past two years in the discretionary council expense line item in the budget,” said Mayor Scott McDearmont.

The Comprehensive Trails System Master Plan was also approved at the meeting.

A part of the city’s Comprehensive Plan, the goal of the Trails System Master Plan is to plan for trail connections through the year 2025. Since the last update to the plan, there have been additions to the trail system not reflected in the current plan, including the Marauder Park lake Trail and FM 2499 sidewalk from Market Trail to connect to City Trail.

The city contracted with Bud Melton and Associates to update the plan with input from the public, TxDOT, U.S. Corps of Engineers, Denton County Transportation Authority, North Texas Council of Governments, city staff, Parks Board and City Council.

Council extended Phase 2 water restrictions through September 30. Mandatory Phase 2 water restrictions limiting landscape watering for Highland Village residents went into effect on Wednesday, July 27.

Phase 2 prohibits residential and commercial landscape watering on Monday’s and Friday’s and restricts watering the rest of the days of the week between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Wasteful water runoff is prohibited, which includes hosing down pavement or rinsing off cars.

Groundwater well owners and residents that draw water from the lake are required to post a sign showing well water or lake water is in use.

During the City Manager Report, the HVTV News segment informed residents of the upcoming Fall Clean-Up Event to be held on Saturday, October 8, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Copperas Branch Park. The Clean-Up Event is an opportunity for residents to dispose of hazardous materials, tree and lawn clippings and electronics. Details can be found at www.hvparks.com.

Also on October 8, a Wellness Fair and one-year anniversary celebration will be held at The Robert & Lee DuVall Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The city has partnered with the Medical Center of Lewisville to provide such things as free bone density screening, blood pressure checks, and Ask A Doctor sessions. 

The HVTV News segment also informed residents of the opportunity to sponsor a veteran for the annual Salute Our Veterans Lunch on Tuesday, November 8, at Celebrations Event Center in Highland Village. Sponsorships begin at $45, which covers the cost of three veterans. Contact Lori Wright at 972-899-5131 for more information.

Submitted by the City of Highland Village

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