MONEY

Motions abounded at the Killeen City Council regular meeting Tuesday as council members sparred over a financial policy package that would lower the city’s emergency reserve funds.

As part of a discussion on a policy package, a new stipulation would lower the reserve targets of each city fund from 22 to 25 percent to 18 to 22 percent.

The measure would free as much as $2 million each year for the operational fund, helping to combat a general fund deficit projected each year until 2037. However, it would also limit the city’s ability to pay its bills in the event of a natural disaster by shortening the city’s payment horizon from three months to around 2½.

The general fund has been at the center of attention, with the city drawing it down for over the past few years, and the council approved a proposal by then-Interim City Manager Dennis Baldwin to take $1.67 million from the solid waste enterprise fund to bolster the general fund in January,

At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King proposed amending the policy to keep the fund balance targets at their current rate, but that motion died 5-2 with only Councilman Jonathan Okray in agreement. Okray then proposed a motion to table the policy vote until the fund balance targets were further discussed, but that motion died 4-3.

Finally, the policy as originally proposed was approved 4-3 with council members Shirley Fleming, Steve Harris, Gregory Johnson and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Kilpatrick in support.

In a memorandum for the record prior to the vote, Okray said the new stipulation “put the cart before the horse” by freeing up reserve money without an agreed-upon use for the funds.

Kilpatrick, who originally proposed changing the fund balance targets in November, said the funds the new measure would affect were not currently available to spend, and any future use would go up for council approval.

“We are not putting the cart before the horse,” he said. “We have a cart — let’s vote on that, and then we will decide which team of horses will pull it.”

In other business, the council accepted the dedication of 90 acres of right of way valued at approximately $1.2 million for the planned Heritage Oaks Hike and Bike Trail project and the Rosewood Drive extension.

The land, dedicated by companies owned by the Gary W. Purser Jr. family, would pave the way for approximately $6.5 million in federal funds for the regional project that will create another north-south thoroughfare to Chaparral Road when Rosewood Drive is extended.

Fleming, reiterating that the city would be responsible for approximately $140,000 in annual maintenance for the flood-hazard land beginning in 2020, said she was concerned about the long-term cost of the project and the lack of funding for projects in northern Killeen, which houses her district.

Johnson presented a flyer that he said had been circulated in some Killeen neighborhoods accusing council members like Fleming of seeking to torpedo the bike project and showing favoritism for northern Killeen over the rest of the city.

“I have concerns about this (flyer), and I don’t like it,” Johnson said. “I think it’s downright wrong and immoral.”

The council voted 5-2 to accept the dedication with Harris and Fleming voting in dissent.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(11) comments

TMM

Finances is the topic for City Hall! When God has been trying to get the attention of this city for years to REPENT of its evil ways. The judgement of God has fallen upon this place. The City of Killeen has engulfed the Spirit of Mammon in so many ways, where the people are no longer of importance. Look around us and what do you see prevailing the most in the City of Killeen!

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@eyewatchingu: It was my way of saying that I think this city does not stand a chance with what we have now. In my personal opinion, this council should have turned down everything that passes last night and the only way we will get anywhere is for a council to stand up to the fearsome foursome and take this council back.

Look at what the mayor said, not in the article but in a Twitter accounting:

Copy: 'And as to the comment made by the mayor. 'Mayor says that a lot of growth and building will outweigh the building costs, says taxing entities should be considered. As he says that, Rivera nods his head'.

I would like to ask the mayor, councilman Rivera, and councilman Kilpatrick 'Are these two men familiar with the concept that it is the function of the/a city council to work withing the boundaries of established policy and taxing rates to accomplish the stated objectives'???? In this I would include the KISD also for they cannot seem to see the forest for the trees. I do not see this principle being maintained so I guess the builders win again.

So the city of Killeen looses out again, and this council will continue to bleed this city dry.

I did not nor I have not saw the flier so I am in the dark to this.

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.

dailymajor

Alvin, ..perhaps start a daily or weekly newsletter?..with SnowWhite as a reporter for you?....Start a public service program on PBS? ...Write a novel about the wrongs of Killeen, Texas?

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

Spend tax spend raise taxes spend raise taxes again = No mas. The people have no more loot. What, sell their internal organs because our pals need more money.

eyewatchingu

@Alvin, I just mean that we as the city should be keeping up with the up keep in all the dist, especially the older ones. Up keep of a city is like up keeping your house. If you don't take care of it, it starts to fall apart slowly. Like Dist 1, when was the last time you driven the streets behind ST josephs and down around the apartments down in the Roy Reynolds area. How about a drug store ( walgreens) There are parts of North Killeen that honestly have nothing near them accept a DG stores and IGA. No Drug store, nothing to make North Killeen citizen friendly. AT lest we have plenty of liquor stores, fake hair stores and shop and rob Dollar generals. Dist 1 is a heaven for the gang bangers and is increasing.

As for 2036 0r 2037, I think they are just reminding us that most of use will not be alive and that their kids will be able to run a muck with our grand kids moneys.

As for the rest of this stuff, it was no surprises that they sitting on city council would vote for this, as it seems they think 2 million dollars is a lot of money. 2 million dollar is not that much nor is it truly enough to run a city the right way. This 2 million dollars is basically them voting for their wasteful spending allowance. They also needed to get their hands on that money for Cosper and Shine and the others up for re-elections.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@Pharon Enochs: Yep, I tend to agree, but we all have to pay for it.

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.

Pharon Enochs

The following comments are indeed the opinions of Pharon Enochs. Just one short comment which is my opinion about what or who pulls the cart in a lot of decisions made by this city council. I tend to believe the cart is pulled by a lot of undisciplined jack asses. God bless America, President Trump and John Wayne wherever he may be. Merry Christmas to one and all.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

I forgot to mention, that this newspaper submits a question of the week and this week, the question is: 'Would you support a tax increase to build necessary infrastructure to support new schools'????

The answers are 25.7 'Yes', 70.7 'No', with 3.5 percent 'undecided.

This goes along with the the prospect of spending $46.1 million to extend and enlarge the access to the new school that will cost $426 million. And to paraphrase our mayor, 'Mayor says that a lot of growth and building will outweigh the building costs, says taxing entities should be considered. As he says that, Rivera nods his head'.

Is that 'why we are paying for a new water plant, the $46.1 million dollar extension of roadways in the Southern part of this city, and now we are facing a new bond issue of $426 million dollars'???? Come on Mr mayor.


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.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
Well it seems like the builders have just won again with the acceptance of the land that was presented without regard for the general upkeep, and that upkeep will be a stranglehold of this city forever.

Okray is right. This council does indeed have the cart before the horse, and now this council has sold the cart.

Copy: 'The measure would free as much as $2 million each year for the operational fund, helping to combat a general fund deficit projected each year until 2037. However, it would also limit the city’s ability to pay its bills in the event of a natural disaster by shortening the city’s payment horizon from three months to around 2½.' End of copy.

That, in my personal opinion, is a form of 'shortsightedness' in the extreme. Why does this council, spearheaded by the man who said that, and I paraphrase here: 'That he did not want to do the job of the city manager' is now spearheading the drive that the current city manager is and was against. The builders win again. To address the statement by Kilpatrick: “We are not putting the cart before the horse,” he said. “We have a cart — let’s vote on that, and then we will decide which team of horses will pull it.” Well let me see, ' it can be assumed that with this agreement, we have now gotten the approval to buy a Cadillac automobile, now we have to agree on what engine we want to put in it and find that we do not have the money to purchase an engine so we just let it sit on the side of the road'. Now that makes a lot of sense doesn't it councilman Kilpatrick.

What does the city manager have to say in this regard???? This article does not say.

What was the answer in regard to the KDH Twitter account that 'Nash-King: Take a breather, sit as a council, says decision shouldn't be made if there is no plan for the resources'. I guess this got lost in the humdrum of this council meeting. Was there a plan, other than the 'helping to combat a general fund deficit projected each year until 2037.'???? I did not see the plan for 'helping to combat a general fund deficit projected each year until 2037' and what is the significance to the year 2037 anyway????

Is this the year that we pay off the new water plant and supporting infrastructure, or the year the latest bond issue of $46.1 million to build the new roadways, including a bridge over Trimmier creek gets passed. Because this city has lots of money now that we've changed the hold back from 22 to 25 percent and it is now 18 to 22 percent, or is it the $426 million dollar KISD bond issue???? Hmm.

Also In the Twitter accounting, councilman Rivera stated that 'Project will help both sides of Killen, call it 'something special' and emphasizes it will help all of Killeen'. I wonder what this councilman is referring to???? Are there plans for the north side of this city, say to 'get more illumination for city streets as an example'???? I wonder why councilwoman Fleming supports this reducing of the policy package from 22 to 25 percent to 18 to 22 percent. I can see it now that this package will fall to the lowest percentage factor, 18 percent and this council will be back in the next few years asking to reduce it even further.

Copy: 'In other business, the council accepted the dedication of 90 acres of right of way valued at approximately $1.2 million for the planned Heritage Oaks Hike and Bike Trail project and the Rosewood Drive extension.'

Continuation of copy: 'The land, dedicated by companies owned by the Gary W. Purser Jr. family, would pave the way for approximately $6.5 million in federal funds for the regional project that will create another north-south thoroughfare to Chaparral Road when Rosewood Drive is extended.' End of copy.

Checkout the phraseology, 'when Rosewood Drive is extended'. Do you note that 'it is assumed that there will be an extension to Chaparral Road to support the new high school.

In regard to the statement by councilman Rivera, of: 'Rivera says if council turns down 90 acres today, future council will have to pay for it. Are we going to turn this down????'

Does this councilman state that this is a forgone issue, that this city is going to pass a $426 million dollar bond that will increase the tax we pay and the $46.1 million dollar bond that will fund the roadway, including a bridge to support the expected influx of new homes that will be built 'just over the city boundary line'. Is this only speculation or 'does this support the thought that 'this is a cut and dried fact that this council will do everything in it's power to 'get this done'????

Copy: 'Fleming, reiterating that the city would be responsible for approximately $140,000 in annual maintenance for the flood-hazard land beginning in 2020, said she was concerned about the long-term cost of the project and the lack of funding for projects in northern Killeen, which houses her district.' End of copy.

Yes, I say again, 'let's not forget that any gift carry's with it the cost of maintaining that gift, from now on'. It may be that this land, that was a gift from the Purser Family consortium and with it comes the continuing cost, starting in 2020 of an annual maintenance cost of $140,000 dollars. But councilman Rivera didn't mention this fact.

And as to the comment made by the mayor. 'Mayor says that a lot of growth and building will outweigh the building costs, says taxing entities should be considered. As he says that, Rivera nods his head'.

I would like to ask the mayor, and councilman Rivera, 'Are these two men familiar with the concept that it is the function of the city council to work withing the boundaries of established policy and taxing rates to accomplish the stated objectives'???? I do not see this principle being maintained so I guess the builders win again.

So I guess the principal of 'taxation without representation' is the order of the day.

And @eyewatchingu:

Copy: 'I agree with Fleming, North Killeen ( Dist.1 ) deserves to have some funding.'

Continuation of copy: 'As for these hand outs, freedom of speech is great. As for what they say, well it's hardly the truth.' End of copy.

To say that you art in agreement with councilwoman Fleming, that North Killeen deserves to have some funding', I would just remind you of, but at what cost'.

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.

dailymajor

Alvin, you have way too much time on your hands. Get a hobby, find a friend, get out and help the community, volunteer your services, ....something.

eyewatchingu

I agree with Fleming, North Killeen ( Dist.1 ) deserves to have some funding. Some parts of Dist 1 you can barley get down the side walks. There are streets in need of repair, their are roads that flood and areas that need to be built up.
As for these hand outs, freedom of speech is great. As for what they say, well it's hardly the truth. Fleming is to busy trying to please everyone to keep Dist.1 first.

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