Tax, city budget adopted


GONZALES — Gonzales City Council, Tuesday, set the city's Ad Valorem Tax Rate and adopted the city's annual budget.

The city's former effective tax rate of $.1769, or $176.90 per $100,000 valuation has been raised to $.2750, or $270.50 per $100,000 valuation.

In the weeks following the proposed tax hike there have been no formal public comments from the community. Several special meetings and public hearings came and went without a sound.

Council passed the Ad Valorem Tax Rate by a unanimous vote.

The budget was also adopted by unanimous vote.

City Manager Sean Lally said the city has encounter several budgetary shortfalls, especially with the city's street department and water/sewer department.

"I have never seen so much obsolete equipment," Lally said. "The city's needs are so vast."

According to Lally, the city needs several important pieces of equipment, but the funds just are not there. Ideally, the city would have a street sweeper, but that is a $276,000 expenditure.

Lally said the city needs a slinger truck, which is used to remove treated solid waste from the treatment facility. With a slinger truck, the city could sell the waste for fertilizer and save $50,000 annually in fees accrued by hiring a slinger to come in. A slinger truck would cost $176,000.

Lally also said previously planned water/sewer work will have to wait, for now. Some of the jobs on hold include a $67,000 water line on Donovan Street; an $86,000 line on Neuman Street; and an $89,000 job on Guardian Street.

The biggest job on hold is an $801,442 sewer line replacement on St. Francis Street that would extend nearly a mile, from Cuero Street to Fisher Street.

According to Lally the city also needs new police vehicles.

"Have you ever seen so many Crown Victorias?" Lally asked. "They don't even make those cars anymore."

For now, Lally said the city is working to update the city's comprehensive plan.

"With appropriate management and maintenance, all of the city's needs are attainable," Lally said.