Glenn Heights Budget Increase Goes Into Effect 10/1
GLENN HEIGHTS—During the recent council meeting, members approved the 2016-17 Glenn Heights Budget and property tax rate increase to take effect October 1, 2016.
Municipal lawmakers agreed that while no one likes tax increases, the infrastructure improvements are necessary.
Council ratified the property tax increase and adopted an ordinance levying ad valorem taxes for the year 2016 at a rate of $0.935530 per $100 assessed valuation.
Glenn Heights Mayor Leon Tate said “Some of the noteworthy highlights to the 2016-17 budget are an improved city website experience for citizen’s interaction such as searching for city information or submitting a problem or concern.”
Tate said the budget also gives a nod to funding a Summer Youth Employment Program, finalizing and funding the city’s Capital Project Plan and offering residents an automated open record request process, automated Council agenda process and a video arraignment court system.
Improving Public Safety
A strong emphasis was placed on public safety for the new fiscal year. The city will purchase a new Police Command Vehicle and a Fire Engine. The new fire engine will compliment the new ambulance that was recently purchased during the fiscal year ending on the last day of September.
“An emphasis was placed on public safety and the Police Department ranks were strengthened by the addition of two new police officers and a new Deputy Police Chief,” said Glenn Heights City Manager Aretha Ferrell-Benavides. “Fire safety services were also fortified.”
City Management Reorganized
The 2016-17 budget officially approved by the City Council on September 13, 2016 also expands City services. Ferrell-Benavides said this expansion was needed in order to accommodate the increased demands resulting from the City’s record growth.
“We seek to properly compensate our talented and educated city employees. Council and citizens alike believe it is important to have an educated and dedicated workforce,” Tate said.
With that in mind, the city reclassified some positions to help align the overall efforts of a city transformation. The Managing Director is now the Deputy City Manager. The Senior Planner’s title has been changed to Director of Planning and Development Services, and the Assistant City Secretary will be known as the Records Clerk.
Council re-established an Economic Development Department in the new fiscal year with an Executive Director Position. Other new positions include a Code Compliance Officer, meter reader, Constituent Service Coordinator and part-time Park Superintendent.
Bond Measures Come To Fruition
The city’s tax rate changes were mainly due to the result of the November 2015 Bond Election. Voters authorized the City to issue $15 million in bonds, which increased the City’s I&S tax rate. One of the first projects in the pipeline resulting from the bond election is the construction of a new Public Safety facility. Ferrell-Benavides said this project is currently in the programming stage.
“The biggest physical difference between last year’s budget and this year’s budget is the overall tax rate,” Tate said. Residents will also see improved streets and a new recreation center.
Much change is afoot in the city of Glenn Heights. Tate added, “We plan to be more responsive to the needs and expectation of citizens while providing quality customer service.”