Burleson closer to finalizing budget after Monday's council meeting
City Council approves finance department and city manager's recommendations at meeting
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BURLESON — Burleson moved closer to finalizing the fiscal-year 2023-24 budget as the City Council approved the finance department and city manager’s recommendations with some modifications at the city council meeting Monday at City Hall.
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Council hasn’t approved an official fiscal-year 2023-24 budget. A proposed budget must be filed by August 9, at least 30 days prior to council approving the budget.
Council unanimously recommended preserving Burleson’s $8.9 million excess debt capacity rather than reducing the tax rate or identifying additional capital projects in fiscal-year 2023-24.
Councilmember Adam Russell suggested inflation increasing project prices as a reason to preserve the debt capacity.
“I would rather just put that in our back pocket and do staff’s recommendation [to] preserve the capacity for now in case we need to do something with it later,” Russell said.
Council also approved city manager Tommy Ludwig’s $1.76 million fiscal-year 2023-24 recommended supplemental budget requests and requested an additional $101,274 for an emergency medical services (EMS) automotive technician.
Councilmember Larry Scott was concerned about not having the additional EMS technician because Burleson is adding more EMS vehicles that age and require maintenance. Hiring another EMS technician is “near and dear” to Scott, he said.
Hiring another EMS technician would require pulling $60,000 from the general fund, city manager Tommy Ludwig said.
The technician would service all of the City’s vehicles, not just the EMS vehicles, councilmember Victoria Johnson said.
Council also approved Burleson finance director Martin Avila’s recommendation increasing the solid waste fund rate 20% in fiscal-year 2023-24, then 6% in 2024-25 and 3% every year until 2029.
The 20% increase results in a $21.84 garbage and recycling collection rate per month per household. The increase allows Burleson to maintain its services, including trash-bag collection opposed to moving to cans or bins.
Council also approved increasing the water waste fund rate 3% every year until 2029 and increasing the employee health insurance rate 5% every year from fiscal-year 2024-25 to 2029 with no increase in fiscal-year 2023-24.
Council will meet again August 7 at 4 p.m. at City Hall.