Council reviews budget, raises garbage rate

The Highland Village City Council approved the first read of the FY 2012-2013 Budget at their September 11 meeting.

There is no change proposed to the city’s property tax rate, which has been maintained since 2000.

Initiatives for the new year include the FM 2499 Landscaping Project which is totally funded by Denton County and a grant from TxDOT and will improve the median landscaping along FM 2499 from FM 407 to the northern city limit; upgrades to Unity and Pilot Knoll Parks, street improvements to Briarhill Boulevard and Sellmeyer Lane are funded through the 2011 certificates of obligation; Inland Trail construction continues with the opening of the pedestrian tunnel under FM 2499 connecting City Trail to Castlewood Trail, Highland Village Road trail connecting Lions Club Park to Doubletree and the development of Lakeside Community Park with a section of trail adjacent to Lake Lewisville. Inland Trail construction is funded through the 4B sales tax.

One new position, a parks technician, is included in the budget. However the cost is offset by a larger reduction in contract labor, city officials said.

Council approved an ordinance accepting Waste Management’s request for a 3.5 percent rate increase for solid waste and recycling services.

The contract between Waste Management and the city allows for a yearly rate adjustment based on the Dallas/Fort Worth Consumer Price Index, as well as the change in diesel fuel prices for the Gulf Coast.

This is the first adjustment requested by Waste Management since the agreement was initiated in 2008.

The rate adjustment will go into effect in the October billing cycle and will result in a $5.40 yearly increase to residents, moving the base rate from $13.11 to $13.56.

Council also approved a resolution authorizing the purchase of a Rapid Intervention Vehicle for the Fire Department in the amount of $137,500.

The vehicle, a 2013 Ford F550, will replace the fire departments air truck which has met the criteria for replacement. An air truck’s services are no longer as necessary as a rapid Intervention Vehicle due to the city’s topography.

During the City Manager Report, the HVTV Update informed residents of the upcoming Community Picnic and Concert in the Park to commemorate the city’s 50th Anniversary on the shores of Lake Lewisville at Copperas Branch Park. The free event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, September 28, and will feature music by Eleven Hundred Springs and the Highland Villages School’s We’ve Got Talent karaoke challenge. The community is invited to bring their blankets, chairs, picnic baskets and gather to celebrate Highland Village.

The update also informed residents of the Highland Village Police Department’s Bike Race benefiting the Fallen Officer Fund. The event will take place on Saturday, September 29 at 5 p.m. at the Shops at Highland Village.

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