The Killeen City Council is expected to receive an update from the ad hoc advisory committee liaising with the accounting firm auditing the city’s finances at a council workshop session Tuesday.
On June 6, Houston-based McConnell & Jones, represented by Darlene Brown and Gilbert Hopkins, gave the council a mum progress report on the management audit of seven target areas in past city administrations.
The low-key report, offering only that the firm was on track to finish its work in July, was a far cry from another audit update May 2 that showed defective communication and a lack of transparency had left the city in the dark about its finances.
Public perception and trust tanked last summer when city administrators failed to share news of declining city finances, kept it quiet for years and then finally pulled the curtain back on a heavy $8 million budget shortfall in June.
The council hired McConnell & Jones on March 14 for $394,456 to examine seven areas of interest, approved in a 5-2 vote. Those include: capital projects; bond money usage; interfund transfers; pay increases; city/developer agreements; roadway ownership; and post-recall spending, referring to a 2011 election in which several council members were recalled.
The ad hoc committee, comprised of council members Jim Kilpatrick, Shirley Fleming and Steve Harris, will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall prior to the workshop. The committee meeting will discuss procedure for a draft report of the audit’s findings that is expected to be completed July 7.
The council will also receive an update on a 62-acre Bruce Whitis planned unit development north of Stagecoach Road.
The council approved a rezoning request for the plot, making way for single-family residential development.
Negotiations between WB Development and neighbors abutting the planned subdivision have been ongoing since 2005, when the property was first rezoned by the council to agricultural residential.
A 10-acre section was then rezoned to suburban residential in 2014, according to a council memorandum.
After extensive negotiations with neighboring residents, the concept plan presented to the council at its regular meeting Tuesday offered a number of mixed-used residential zones, with larger home lots in the east end of the subdivision becoming smaller as the build-out of homes continues west.
Councilwoman Shirley Fleming was concerned with a certain lot size included in the concept plan — the 6,000-square-foot “garden homes” with 5-foot side yards.
Fleming asked whether the narrow space between lots presented a fire hazard, but Josh Welch, development manager with WB Development, said the side yard distance met National Fire Protection Association standards.
Welch could not be reached for comment Friday.
In other business, the council will:
- Discuss a resolution authorizing a sales tax compliance review of the city’s finances. Sales tax revenue account for 29 percent of funds that support the city’s operational budget each year, a council memorandum said. The proposed review by MuniServices LLC would aid the city in detecting, documenting, and correcting sales tax misallocations and provide the city a more accurate sales tax base upon which to forecast its revenue, a council presentation said. The firm would receive 30 percent of all funds recovered per its proposed agreement with the city.
- Discuss a resolution approving an increased Central Texas College lease at Skylark Airport for the next three years. The expected revenue from approving the lease is $33,136.