Reserve fund

Workers repair a home damaged by trees ripped up by an EF-1 tornado in Kempner in May 2015. The tornado damaged multiple homes but did not result in any deaths.

An agreement by the Killeen City Council on Tuesday to lower its reserve fund range citywide could put the city in danger of not being able to pay its bills in the event of a natural disaster, City Manager Ron Olson said.

The council reached a 4-3 consensus Tuesday to lower every city fund’s targeted reserve range from 22 to 25 percent to 18 to 22 percent of expenditures as a means of freeing millions of dollars for operational and capital expenditures each year.

But lowering the reserve range limits the city’s ability to pay for disaster recovery efforts in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Kilpatrick and Council members Gregory Johnson, Shirley Fleming and Juan Rivera voted to lower the target range.

The decision came as part of the council’s deliberation on a new financial policy package that will act as a one-stop shop for city spending and management guidelines.

The proposed policy stipulated every fund in the administration have a maximum reserve of 25 percent, with extra funds being redirected to associated capital improvement funds.

But following a proposal from Kilpatrick, who asked for information on lowering the targeted range at a workshop Nov. 14, the council agreed lowering the range would not hurt the city’s municipal bond rating and would free more than $2 million a year for operational expenditures.

Olson, however, said the move would impede the city’s financial response to a natural disaster.

“When you’re faced with a massive disaster, you have to run the city without outside help,” Olson said. “(The current policy) gives you three months. The best you can ask for is to get FEMA money back in around three months.”

While the city has not recently experienced a disaster scenario, the possibility of one is not unheard of.

In 2015, a 180-foot-wide, EF-1 tornado nicked the west end of Fort Hood and struck mobile homes in the Kempner area west of Killeen.

While that tornado did not result in any deaths, an EF-1 tornado touching down in residential portions of Killeen could potentially cause loss of life and catastrophic property damage.

Councilman Jonathan Okray, who voted against the measure, saw the lowered reserve range as an ineffective way to create revenue and unsustainable.

“Don’t get wide-eyed and say we can put more money in (the capital improvement fund),” Okray told the council.

The council is expected to formally vote on the financial policy package at its regular meeting Tuesday.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(4) comments

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

Spend spend spend, spend and steal more of your money. KISD, the city of KILLeen, the County of Bell, these thieves have NO restraint because they can tax you to death. They can tax you into poverty so they can live like kings and queens they wanna be. Meanwhile, us peasants and peons, starve; they kings and queens steal your chicken bones for their dogs.

Pharon Enochs

The following comments are indeed the opinions of Pharon Enochs. After a number of years of learn as you city managers and city council members the city hired a varsity city manager. The city council members in my opinion have never advanced and are still playing in the Pee Wee division or at best playing at the Bush league level. Some of these same bush league players are the same ones who ushered in the plays which got Killeen in a financial MESS. With a varsity player on board as the quarterback it appears the majority of playershave not,cannot or will not read the playbook. They want to still play bush league level and continue their long term losing streak. The majority of the fans who have backed a losing team for years are fed up with this style of play. I would not doubt these amateur players are too full of themselves and have played with tax payers money for so long they apparently believe the money is theirs and can spent it any way they can and why not the fans have allowed them to do it. These bush leaguers do not want to play the called play instead run the wrong formation or take a knee. I would not be a bit surprised if the varsity quarterback declares free agency and one of the bush league fifth string quarter backs is put in charge so the losing streak will continue and the city goes belly up. God bless America, President Trump and John Wayne wherever he may be.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@city Council: This is one of your constituents talking. I would advise you to take this opportunity to listen to 'what the voters have to say instead of reacting to your own personal whims and desires.

I realize that for the last 3 or 4 years there has been a push to 'build on the South Side, neglecting anything pertaining to the rest of this city'. Well no more does the citizens of Killeen throw support to the buildup of the South side alone. There are other areas pertaining to this town.

I say again, 'Wake up and smell the roses'.


This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

eyewatchingu

Killeen had a chance to get itself up and running, the city had a chance to build itself up and be ready for anything. The city had a chance to vote in those that understood how to live by a budget. Instead we put those in office that have no clue what a budget is or how to live with in their means.
Not only are they taking money from this, they are now going to ask we the home owners to vote for a bond, to give them more money.
Money that will not benefit the infrastructure in dist 1 or any other older dist.
While our property values go down, they keep building up one side of the city, so they can segregate those who have from those who have not. Maybe if those that sit on city council would have to live on the same budget of the normal homeowner in city they would understand what it means to save for an emergency or what it means to live with in what you have.

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