Six unanimous votes — one approved budget.
The Killeen City Council was in agreement in ratifying the city’s fiscal year 2018 municipal budget and property tax rate in a series of six separate votes at a special meeting Tuesday.
By a 7-0 roll call vote, the council first approved the city’s $180.2 million budget, which was balanced after the city’s budget debacle in 2016.
Supplementing the budget vote, the council also authorized the cutting of 20 vacant civil service officer positions from the Killeen Police Department, bringing the city’s officer vacancy total to 16; the city employs 239 officers.
The city’s budget also includes cuts to a number of community activities, the cutting of two vacant animal control officer positions from the Animal Service Division and limited funding for badly needed road maintenance throughout the city.
The budget will go into effect at the beginning of the fiscal year Oct. 1.
The council also approved a property tax rate of 74.98 cents per $100 of taxable value — the same as last fiscal year.
Because the city will raise more tax revenue at the same rate, it was mandated by state law to hold two public hearings before the ratification vote.
The effective tax rate, or the rate at which the city would gather the same amount of property tax revenue as last fiscal year, was 70.27 cents per $100.
The city’s rollback rate, calculated by subtracting eight percent from the tax rate’s maintenance and operations portion, is 72.23 cents per $100.
At a workshop session following the special meeting, the council discussed the purchase of six vehicles for the water and sewer department at a cost of $526,820.
The purchase will include four 1-ton service trucks and a midsize SUV from Caldwell Country Chevrolet using the Texas Association of School Boards BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative for a total of $155,700. The city also seeks to purchase a large sewer cleaning truck from Houston Freightliner using the Houston-Galveston Area Council Purchasing Cooperative for $371,120.
The funds will come from the fiscal year 2017 budget in three water and sewer divisional budgets and will not encumber the 2018 budget.
In other business, the council:
Discussed awarding an approximately $1.2 million contract to Murphy Pipeline Contractors to replace 11,535 feet of water main along East Veterans Memorial Boulevard between Church and 38th streets through pre-chlorinated pipe bursting. The city said the funds for the repair are available through a 2013 water and sewer bond issue.
Discussed the $162,538 replacement of the roofs at Killeen Fire Station No. 3, No. 7 and the Central Station. According to a council memorandum, all three roofs are not weather sealed and are in need of repair to prevent mold. The funds to pay for the repairs are available in the department’s 2017 budget.