GONZALES — A couple of public hearings have come and gone with but a handful of Gonzales residents showing up to speak to council members about their increasing taxes and city budget for 2018-19. Tonight (Thursday) is their last chance to be heard as members will look to adopt both, among other items.
City staff will begin the meeting by presenting council members with its final budget and time will be had for an additional public hearing. The city is looking to spend $27.628 million for the next fiscal year with $27.562 million brought in through revenues.
“This budget as presented is based on a most conservative projection of revenues possible,” said a letter by City Manager Tim Patek in announcing the budget. “While we can honestly say we feel that we may receive more in revenue than shown here, we cannot be sure and must plan for any unexpected events such as an uneventful disaster(s). We believe the spending projections are a fair representation of what our City will need to continue to function at its current level.”
Also to be ratified is the city's tax rate, which would be set at .3050 cents per $100 of valuation. The rate would raise more revenue from property taxes than last year's budget by $121,303.03, which translates to a 10.47 percent increase. New property tax projections are for $13,636.18.
Council will also be tasked with:
• A decision whether to renew a contract with the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce for the hosting of the Gonzales Visitor Information Center or authorize the staff to seek a competitive bid from someone else for those services. The amount is $20,000 annually;
• Authorizing the city manager to make an agreement for renovation of the hydroelectric station and its infrastructure. Sealed bids were accepted in the range from $642,352-1,134,500;
• Appointing a Gonzales Police Department officer to the San Antonio Task Force to address narcotics issues in the community as requested by the Drug Enforcement agency (DEA);
• Approving the contract with GVEC for daily electric utility maintenance in the amount of $443,829 annually.
The council meets at city hall tonight at 6 p.m.