Arlington City Council Approves $410 Million Budget

Tuesday, the Arlington City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, which supports the Council’s four new priorities: Support Quality Education, Enhance Regional Mobility, Invest in Our Community and Championing Great Neighborhoods.

The total budget is $410 million, with a $212 million dollar General Fund budget. Police and Fire account for 63 percent of the General Fund budget, with the remainder divided among other City departments.

In addition, the budget includes funding for salary increases to bring staff salary levels in line with market rates in the area. Included in the budget are these proposed increases: entry level police officers (9.4%) and firefighters (7.9%); sworn positions based on market (2%-4.25%); civilians (2%); and, executive-level positions (2%). This would account for $3.2 million of the budget.

City Council also passed a property tax rate increase of about $2.38 per month, or $28.61 per year. This change is connected to the average homestead taxable value in Arlington increasing by 4.5 percent over FY 2014 levels.  Also, homeowners will see an increase to the following rates: Water and Sewer ($2.13 per month); Storm Water Fee (50 cents per month); and Garbage (18 cents per month). This means the average homeowner will pay an additional $5.19 per month for City, Water, Sanitation and Storm Water services. These fees continue to be among the lowest of Arlington’s surrounding communities.

According to Trey Yelverton, Arlington City Manager, the budget is built around the basics and maintaining what the City of Arlington has, while demonstrating the significant value of the services the City provides to its residents.

Here are some highlights from the budget, categorized by each priority:

Champion Great Neighborhoods:

  • $258,872 for maintaining the Parks and Recreation system
  • $131,777 for golf program business service improvements
  • $61,160 for four part-time Action Center agents
  • $15,000 to conduct tele-town hall meetings

Enhance Regional Mobility:

  • $78.8M worth of street/sewer projects already underway
  • Determine future of Metro Arlington Xpress (MAX)
  • Additional support of Handitran service

Support Quality Education:

  • $20,943,809 allocated for the Library, which includes the new Central Library
  • $150,000 Library eContent
  • Continue the AISD Fire Academy

Invest in Our Economy:

  • $100,000 to update U.S. Highway 287 master plan
  • $40,000 for a new Business Incubator
  • $171,890 for Economic Development initiatives
  • $19,774 for aviation staffing and support
  • $238,000 for Arlington Convention Center improvements
  • $375,000 to support the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau efforts to attract tourists

Core Services:

  • $2.9 million for public safety enhancements
  • $74,001 for Code Compliance to increase productivity through expanded workforce and new technology
  • $90,505,007 allocated for the Police Department
  • $43,805,214 allocated for the Fire Department
  • $536,603 for the Police Recruit Academy
  • Complete replacement of outdated Police and Fire radio systems with new digital technology, set to debut in early 2015

Multiple town hall meetings and City Council meetings were held throughout the budget process to solicit input from Arlington residents and businesses. Additionally, the City put together this video to share key components of the budget and the City’s Business Plan. For more information about the FY 2015 budget, you may view the document in its entirety online here.

Articles-Budget-08-05-14

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Kim Feil
Guest

And another year without an INFRARED FLIR camera to find the natural gas leaks that they don’t want to find and make the drillers fix….they don’t want to see what comes off of the storage tanks in our neighborhoods…those videos might get out…heres one the TCEQ took just search… “Lake Arlington Natural Gas Waste Storage Tanks” and then search for the video “EPA VIDEO, by Pat Carullo:”….maybe next year’s budget..this is like the fifth year I’ve asked?

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