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CITY NEW BRIEFS: SEPTEMBER 2010

Month

2010 Budget & Tax Rate Proposed
Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The City of Shoreacres is moving closer to adopting a budget and property tax rate for the fiscal year that begins on October 1st.

A proposed budget presented Monday night to City Council details expenditures of $8,119,346.61, including $5,669,820.00 in Texas Community Development Block Grants (TxCDBG) for Hurricane Ike recovery. Increased spending will reconstruct the heavily damaged Public Works building, replace damaged equipment, increase funding for Clean-Up, Green-Up, and provide local matching funds for the TxCDBG projects. Those projects include the replacement of several streets, a water plant, two waste water lift stations, police offices, and storm drainage improvements.

The public is invited to attend and participate in a public hearing scheduled to receive comments on the proposed budget. That hearing will be held at 7:00pm at Shoreacres' City Hall (601 Shoreacres Blvd) on Monday, September 27th. Following the public hearing, the city council will have the opportunity to consider changes before voting to adopt the city's 2010 budget.

City council voted Monday night to propose a 2010 tax rate of 82.4670-cents per $100 valuation. The proposed tax rate is less than last year's rate of 88.4264-cents but under the Texas tax code is considered a 5% tax increase. Last year, when the city adopted the 88.4264-cent rate it was a considered a 5% decrease under the tax code even though the 2008 the rate had been 70.0560-cents. The sizable swing in the city's tax rate has been the result of Hurricane Ike damage reducing the tax base 25% in 2009.

The City of Shoreacres expects to see the tax rate continue to decline in future years as the city recovers from Hurricane Ike. Recognizing that the jump in tax rate last year would cause a hardship for it's citizen who had been directed impacted by the effects of Ike, the city provided a monthly relief of $24.68 per month applied to the city's utility bills during 2010. That assistance was paid from the city's reserves. In the proposed budget the monthly relief has been extended another year albeit reduced to $12.34 per month.

The public is invited to attend and participate in two public hearing scheduled to receive comments on the proposed tax rate. Those hearing will be held at 7:00pm at Shoreacres' City Hall (601 Shoreacres Blvd) on Monday, October 4th and on Monday, October 11th. City council will officially vote to adopt the 2010 tax rate at 7:00pm on Thursday, October 14th.

Street Project Engineering Work Started
Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Many Shoreacres residents have or will see survey, soil testing, and utility crews working in and along their streets as the city prepares for new street construction.

A year ago the city applied for federal Hurricane Ike recovery grant funds. It has taken a long time, but finally we can see tangible signs of progress. Some of those signs are spray painted on the street while others are marked on wooden stakes.

This preliminary engineering work will locate utilities, define the projects and provide the information needed to prepare specifications that will go out for bid in a few short months.

Prior to Hurricane Ike the city had evaluated the condition of all of its streets and began its first comprehensive street program. That program led to the replacement of Westview between Shoreacres Blvd and Baywood; and, the replacement of Bayou Drive between Forest and Shoreacres. These two new streets were constructed with concrete. Hurricane Ike put a stop to the city's program as efforts were directed to important needs elsewhere.

Following Hurricane Ike the same evaluation criteria was again applied to all of the city's streets. In that process a condition and storm damage rating was determined for each street segment. The damage ranking was in turn used to group and prioritize immediate street replacement needs.  

Originally the city sought to replace 26 street segments that had been damaged by Hurricane Ike flooding. Those street segments totaled 4.7 miles. Although the city has received a large grant for street repair, our engineer estimates that the funds currently available will only replace 1.9 miles. Accordingly, preliminary engineering work is being prepared for the first 12 street segments. Should the funds be insufficient to accomplish all 12 segments, those at the bottom of the list (e.g. #12, #11, etc.) may be postponed. [map]

All of the new street surfaces will be concrete. These new streets will be flood damage resistant, have low future maintenance costs and a very long life expectancy.  

Although current funding won't repair all the streets that are in need, we do have an opportunity to apply for another round of grants in 2011. It is our intent to seek funding for the remaining 14 street segments and we believe that we have a good chance to receive an award for part or all of the segments on that list.

Under the schedule provided by the Texas Department of Rural Affairs, the state agency responsible for administering the federal grant funds, we can expect street construction to start in March or April 2011.

2010 Property Tax Rate Process Underway
Posted:
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The City of Shoreacres has begun taking the first steps towards adopting a 2010 property tax rate. On Wednesday, September 15, 2010, the City will publish a public notice in the Bayshore Sun newspaper concerning tax rates.

Last year the city's taxes totaled $724,437 with a tax rate of $0.884264 per $100 property value. If the city were to impose the same total taxes as last year the 2010 tax rate would be $0.785400 per $100 property value (effective tax rate). The lower rate is the result of increased taxable values as the city recovers from Hurricane Ike damage.

Prior to Hurricane Ike Shoreacres' 2008 tax base was $108,872,045. In the wake of the hurricane the tax base shrunk 25% dropping our property values down to $81,925,420. The good news is that many homes have been repaired or rebuilt. We still have far fewer home, but we are recovering. The latest assessment raises the city's tax base to $91,674,384.

On September 20 the city council will discuss the tax rate and consider a proposed rate. Should council propose a rate above $0.785400 additional notices will be published and two public hearings scheduled.

 

 

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