Brookshire passes 2020-21 budget at Sept. 14 meeting

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 9/15/20

In a unanimous decision the members of Brookshire City Council approved the mayor’s proposed budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year at their Monday meeting. The new budget anticipates an increase …

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Brookshire passes 2020-21 budget at Sept. 14 meeting

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In a unanimous decision the members of Brookshire City Council approved the mayor’s proposed budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year at their Monday meeting. The new budget anticipates an increase of about $223,000 from last year’s budget of which about $39,000 is revenue from new property added to the tax rolls this year.

The roughly $4.98 million budget’s two highest-dollar expenditure line items were set to cover the Brookshire Police Department at about $2.2 million and the Public Works Department at about $1.4 million.

Under the Brookshire PD portion of the budget, about $1.3 million is reserved for salaries with the remainder being day-to-day operational expenses and employee benefits.

On the revenue side for the city’s General Fund, the city anticipates property taxes to be its largest source of revenue at $2.26 million. That sum is followed by two sales tax line items at $904,000 and $450,000 respectively. Franchise payments are expected to generate $225,000 for the city and building permits revenues come in at $250,000.

Municipal court fines are anticipated to bring in about $210,000, according to the budget document posted to the city’s website. Salaries for the court are expected to run at about $193,000.

Garbage fees come in at about $200,000 total for the year with a new agreement in the works with Republic Services.

“The citizens pay the trash when they pay the water the bill, the water district writes the city a check, and the city writes Republic a check,” Alderwoman Kim Branch said.

Heavy trash will be hauled every week as a part of the new agreement with Republic, Alderwoman Branch said.

Some carry-over from last year’s funds is expected to bolster the budget as well at $200,000, according to the posted budget document.

Other general fund revenue line items come in at $75,000 or less and include miscellaneous items like delinquent taxes, abandoned vehicle revenue and health permits.

Expenditures by department include about $40,000 for the mayor’s office, roughly $823,000 for departmental expenditures which includes about $292,000 for employee salaries. The remainder of the $823,000 goes for operational expenses such as utilities, legal expenses and employee benefits.

Under the public works department, capital outlay for streets comes in at $357,000. Council has been examining several projects to repair streets over the last few months and recently directed the city attorney to examine an agreement with Waller County to determine how expenses for street maintenance are shared between the two municipalities in regards to certain shared-responsibility roadways.

The city also expects to receive about $219,000 in its Hotel-Motel Fund. This fund is made up of about $200,000 in hotel occupancy tax revenues, $14,000 for convention center rentals with the rest coming from festival booth rentals, interest on invested HOT funds and festival concessions. Funding from this budget must be used to attract tourism or similar activity to the city.

The Brookshire Economic Development Corporation has its own budget at about $714,000 according to the posted budget document. Revenues for the Brookshire EDC are mostly generated through sales tax and expenditures include staffing, various professional services and $110,000 for a city parks project that is not specified in the document.  

Brookshire City Council has not yet formally set the property tax rate, though a hearing on the proposed property tax rate for the city of $0.64000 per $100 valuation of taxed property. The hearing will be held Thursday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. as part of the city council’s regular meeting. Community members may visit city offices at 4029 5th Street, Brookshire to provide their comments or dial into the meeting which is hosted through Zoom. To dial in by phone, community members must call 346-248-7799 and enter meeting ID 969 3617 0066. For those logging in through the Zoom app, they may enter the meeting ID in that platform to log into the meeting and provide their comments.

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