Council discusses 2011-12 budget

An enhanced emphasis on maintaining fiscal sustainability over an extended outlook framed the 2011-12 budget discussion at the Highland Village city council meeting on Tuesday.

With the City approaching substantial build-out, it is critical to ensure that operating expenditures are aligned with on-going revenues, city officials said. New programs and additional personnel will be evaluated in a context of available funding – not only for the current year but future years as well. 

For the current year, while the final tax roll is not yet received, appraised value is projected to increase slightly from last year’s certified roll.  Likewise, total projected revenues reflect an increase of less than 1%. Accordingly, the base level of expenditures presented for Council consideration remains at last year’s level.

There is no proposed change to the property tax rate. The projected fund balance will provide opportunity for consideration of supplemental items. These represent new programs or equipment – with the vast majority being one-time expenditures, such as an electronic security system for the Fire Station, resurfacing of the Sellmeyer tennis courts, and an automatic door opener for the Municipal Complex. These items total $392,000. 

“Highland Village continues to maintain a fiscally conservative approach to our budget process. The council appreciates the hard work and award winning efforts of our finance department to this end. As we emerge from the economic downturn, Highland Village remains in sound financial condition,” said Mayor Scott McDearmont.

Budget discussions will continue over the next two meetings, followed by the formal presentation of the City Manager recommended budget at the August 23 meeting. A public hearing will be conducted at the August meeting, as well as the September 13 meeting to obtain public input. Concurrently, the proposed budget will be posted on the City website.  

Council appointed city manager Michael Leavitt as the Highland Village representative to the Denton County Transportation Authority. Dianne Costa was appointed as Alternate 1 and Fred Busche as Alternate 2.

During Council announcements, council member Charlotte Wilcox invited residents to attend two public workshops to be held regarding the Doubletree Park Master Plan development.

“Our desire is to create a multifunctional, one-of-a kind Community Park that is environmentally responsible, sustainable for heavy use and distinctive to Highland Village’s history and image,” according to city officials. The park will provide a variety of activities and experiences that incorporate active recreation, education, art, and community entertainment.

The first meeting is a come and go public workshop to be held at the Doubletree Ranch Park Pavilion on Saturday, July 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  The second workshop will be hosted by Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, Inc. on Thursday, August 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at The Robert & Lee DuVall Center.  The format will allow citizens to review several concept master plans to confirm the plan direction and identify any key refinements.

Submitted by the City of Highland Village

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