The majority of this hour-long meeting Aug. 11 was taken up with presentations and discussion of City Manager Mark McDaniel’s proposed FY2020-21 budget for the city, with added information from City Finance Director Amy Dozier.
Council also was asked to consider the initial resolution leading to the FY21 tax rate to be applied to property-owners’ certified valuations.
Year 2020 tax rate
Council voted 5-0 to approve the resolution that sets forth the ad valorem (property) tax rate.
That resolution called it “the no new revenue tax rate” and called for a public hearing prior to its adoption. This process is required by the city’s Charter and state law.
The resolution said, if adopted, the total tax rate to be imposed would not exceed $0.5116 per $100 valuation.
McDaniel noted this is the same tax rate as currently imposed by the city, and essentially freezes it at last year’s rate.
The resolution said a public hearing on the proposed budget is slated for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at City Hall. That would be followed by the second and final reading and a vote scheduled for Sept. 8.
The summary statement on the agenda bill said the proposed FY21 budget includes expenditures of $70,492,087 and revenues of $58,162,070.
Copies of the proposed budget are available for viewing at the City Secretary’s office in City Hall, at the Butt-Holdworth Memorial Library, and on the city’s website at www.kerrvilletx.gov.
McDaniel called the proposed budget “austere” under the effects of COVID-19 after six months under the pandemic.
“We are now in a recession and have a $2.2 million shortfall across all funds and a $1.5 million shortfall in the General Fund,” he said.
Referring to the proposed budget, he noted under General Fund expenditures, no merit, step or cost-of-living raises, and deletion of at least two vacant positions in city staffing.
He lists in the proposed budget some city initiatives still planned in FY21, including:
• Capital projects to address some of the highest priority drainage issues;
• Capital projects for complete renovation of some of the worst city streets;
• Completion of the Olympic Drive extension;
• A new major water well;
• Completion of a new subdivision code;
• And ongoing funding for the Neighborhood Enhancement Team.
The “philosophy” note cites sustainability, balance in the largest operating funds, lowering the property tax rate to $0.5116/$100 valuation; no proposed water or sewer rate or rate structure changes; and no use of the city’s “Fund Balance.”
The notice of public hearing included the following summary of the proposed budget.
In the General Fund, proposed revenues are budgeted at $28,064,250, a decrease of $697,827 from last fiscal year.
Proposed expenditures are listed at the same $28,064,250, a decrease from the current fiscal year.
In the Water Fund, revenues and expenditures are listed as $13,062,669, a slight increase of $27,075.
Under “Other Funds,” revenues are listed as $17,035,151, down by $935,591 from the current budget. Expenditures are listed as $29,365,168, for a deficit of $7,083,710.
Under “Total Funds,” revenues are listed as $58,162,070, or a $1,606,343 deficit from the FY20 budget.
Total expenditures are listed as $70,492,087, or a deficit of $7,754,462.
The note at the bottom of this chart says, “The FY2021 Proposed Budget is a balanced budget where current revenues meet or exceed expenditures for all major funds. Expenditures in the ‘Other Funds’ sections exceed revenues primarily due to capital projects that were funded in previous years, but will be constructed in FY2021.”
McDaniel wrote in the Budget Summary that primary revenue sources for the city are “services” (utility, EMS and parks); property tax, intergovernmental revenue and sales tax.
“Property tax, intergovernmental, utility and parks revenue sources are expected to increase, while sales tax and EMS revenues are expected to decrease,” he wrote.
McDaniel briefly referred to a new Fee Schedule for Kerrville-Schreiner Park where current and proposed fees are compared. Many will stay the same, but increases are listed under RV site fees for per-month rent with electricity, water and sewer, for sites October through February, in the park.
McDaniel worked his way through the proposed budget for council members and the viewing public, noting details under General Capital Projects; Asset Replacement; Debt Service; Water and Sewer Funds; Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund (“…hit hard but showing signs of a comeback”); Golf Fund; and the Library Memorial Fund.
Joint Airport Board
Council approved unanimously the appointment of Scott Schellhase to the Kerrville-Kerr County Joint Airport Board, to fill the remaining term of a departing board member.
Schellhase and Airport Manager Mary Rohrer spoke to council by phone before the council’s unanimous vote of approval. Schellhase is a pilot and an airplane owner who already uses the local airport as a “customer.”
Kerrville Kindness Award
Blackburn announced at the top of this meeting the recognition of the San Antonio Food Bank as recipient of a “Kerrville Kindness Award.”
Mario Obledo, chief of government and public affairs for the Food Bank, participated by Zoom.
The certificate read, “Founded in 1980 as the first food bank in Texas, the San Antonio Food Bank has quickly grown to serve 58,000 individuals a week in one of the largest service areas in the state … Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Antonio Food Bank has delivered more than 160,000 pounds of food to Kerrville and surrounding areas.”
The award certificate listed “families, individuals, seniors, children and military members in need” as recipients of this aid distribution.
The virtual presentation to Obledo included specific discussion of the SA Food Bank’s participation with Mustard Seed Ministry at Kerrville’s Light on the Hill at Mount Wesley.