A proposed fiscal year 2022 budget has been released on the Killeen city government website. The budget, which is officially proposed by City Manager Kent Cagle, requests $278 million in total appropriations to serve an estimated population of 160,641 Killeen residents. This includes $201.2 million for operations, $51.7 million for capital projects, and $25 million for debt service requirements.
The proposed budget allocates $244.7 million in total expenses, with $240.5 million in revenue. Expenses have increased by $40.2 million, or 17%, from the 2021 budget of $204.5 million while revenue has increased by $5.2 million, or 6.1% from $235.5 million to $240.5 million.
Capital expenses for the proposed budget include public safety at $67.8 million, which comprises approximately 27% of general fund services, $40.6 million for water and sewer utilities, which makes up 17% of the budget, and $36.5 million transportation and streets maintenance fees, which makes up another 15%.
The budget allows for the addition of 31 full-time equivalent positions, including an American Disabilities Act compliance officer, a new ambulance crew, and the reinstatement of four positions at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center which had been removed due to COVID-19, according to city documents. With the proposed budget, the city will have a total of 1,294.44 equivelant full time employees.
The ambulance crew is expected to account for a $748,301 increase in funding, including $55,425 in first-year expenses.
Also a priority for the proposed budget is a 300% increase in monthly street maintenance fees from $1.70 to $7 per single family equivalent for a revenue increase of $4.3 million — from $1.6 million to $5.9 million.
With this new money, the city intends to create a new road crack seal team, and will use an estimated $5.5 million in revenue to be used for debt service on $60 million of bond issues over the next five years.
The city justifies an increased budget through a $5.9 million revenue increase, in part due to a quoted $5.2 million sales tax revenue spike and an increased $3.8 million in property tax revenue, according to the proposed budget.
The proposed budget cites a $3.3 million reduction from the coronavirus relief funds received in 2021, and an estimated $2.1 million reduction in state reimbursement of the disabled veteran exemption. The exemption accounts for a loss of some $8.5 million in potential revenue from approximately $1.2 billion in property.
The city accounts for a 10% increase of taxable property to a total of $7.6 billion. This includes approximately $158 million in new property growth.
Finally, the proposed budget includes a 3.5% increase in pay for non-civil service employees and a 4% increase for public safety civil service employees, both of which are meant to account for a 4% cost of living adjustment. Public safety civil service employees, including those in the fire and police departments, will receive step increases in pay, which will be felt most fully by those at the bottom of the pay scale as the city intends to increase the minimum hourly wage of classified employees from $10.86 to $13.47.
The city intends to use the coronavirus relief fund as an initial supplement to help pay for increased premium pay, but will phase in general fund usage as the fund expires. Any employees that would fall below the new minimum wage will be moved up to the $13.47 hourly wage.
The proposed budget is expected to be introduced and discussed at a Killeen City Council meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday. It was scheduled to be introduced this past Tuesday at a council meeting; however, the meeting was canceled because not enough council members were able to attend to make a quorum.
The full budget and budget in brief may be found at https://www.killeentexas.gov/417/Budget.