City council adopts budget, sets tax rate

DONNIE BRYANT?donnie.bryant@empiretribune.com
City Administrator Mark Kaiser

Several issues were put to rest Tuesday during the Stephenville City Council meeting.

First on the agenda was the Erath County Appraisal Districts annual report, presented by Chief Appraiser Jerry Lee.

“The last several years' reports have been a bit boring,” Lee admitted. “There's just not much to report.”

Lee said he could see signs the real estate market may be picking up with the possibility of seeing more in sales. But he said the bottom line was taxable values were slightly up in 2012 due to modest amounts of building in the county, citing Allsups and FMC Technologies as accounting for a large amount of value increase.

The 2012 tax rate was discussed at one of two public hearings, but no one from the community spoke.

At present the proposed rate stands at $.485 per $100 of the taxable value of a residence. The average value of a home in Stephenville is $97,371, which would levy $451.41.

The budget with expenditures totaling $26,421,811 was unanimously adopted for the 2012-13 fiscal year beginning in October. City Administrator Mark Kaiser outlined projects to be funded by the 2012-13 budget.

“We have the new fire station under construction,” he said. “There are street renovations on Dale Avenue and Alexander Road. And 1 million dollars have been allocated to improve sewer lines.”

Also reviewed and adopted were fee schedules for city services and the approval of child safety funds which are used to enhance child security and drug and alcohol education and awareness.

A request by CareFlight for a permit to carry patients from Texas Health Harris Methodist Stephenville to hospitals in the Metroplex in order to alleviate some of the stress on local transport was presented. The request was approved unanimously.