Delta, Airport salute

Delta Air Lines employees salute and bid goodbye to the last Delta flight from the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. Among the six employees seen in the photo was Matthew Cantu, seen standing in the back-left of the group. He was the last to salute the flight.

The Killeen City Council will take its first deep dive into the fiscal 2019 budget at a special workshop Tuesday, starting with the city’s general and aviation funds.

Following an “all-funds” overview Tuesday, the council is expected to receive briefings on the departmental budgets from both funds, which will include overviews of the city’s public safety departments and the flagging Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport account.

Employee raises are expected to be a big part of the discussion after City Manager Ron Olson proposed a 2.6 percent citywide raise for all employees, including civil service, and an additional 9.4 percent raise for employees paid significantly less than market average.

Despite those raises, which Olson proposed in an effort to make city compensation more competitive, Olson’s proposed budget includes few personnel cuts after the council authorized the elimination of 22 vacant commissioned officer positions in the current year budget.

The forecast is less rosy for the aviation fund — which includes the regional airport and Skylark Field — after Olson proposed using the fund’s reserves to cover a planned $184,585 shortfall. Aviation is the only city fund planning to use reserves to balance its budget.

The major concern is the regional airport, which has a nearly 10-year downward ridership trend and saw Delta Airlines — one of three carriers — depart in January.

In addition, the council is considering slicing away free exempt parking for certain veterans. If the exemptions are cut, it would add about $300,000 per year to the facility’s budget.

The council is expected to vote on whether to keep the exemptions or alter them in the coming month.

During a regular meeting before the workshop, the council will consider approving a rezoning request for a 17-acre “worship campus” for Faith Point Church on Stagecoach Road.

The church is proposing to construct a 500-seat, 15,000-square-foot auditorium and other facilities, including a day-care center, counseling center, athletic center, baseball field and amphitheater with 750 seats.

The proposal includes the construction of a 7,500-square-foot “quality restaurant” called He Brews Cafe. The site plan includes eight buildings.

The Killeen City Council will vote Tuesday on the rezoning request to allow for the development, which has received some pushback from neighbors concerned with traffic and noise from the complex.

The church currently holds Sunday services at 5100 Trimmier Road, according to its website. Its former facility on Central Texas Expressway was demolished this week to make way for a new CarMax used car dealership.

The council’s regular meeting begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Utilities Collection Building, 210 W. Avenue C.

The budget workshop will immediately follow at the same location. | 254-501-7567

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