Marlin City Council adopts budget for 2005-2006 year
by Denise Schoppe
Staff writer

The Marlin Democrat
October 05, 2005

The Marlin City Council adopted the 2005 - 2006 budget for the city and established the 2005-2006 tax rate for the city during a special emergency council meeting on Tuesday, September 26.

The new budget shows a projected deficit in the general fund of $543,760 and a surplus in the water fund of $660,883. The two funds combined bring a $117,123 surplus in the next year's budget.

"The council has authorized raises in the amount of 4% across the board for the employees at $67,600 so we have actually a working buffer of $49,523," Randy Holly, Marlin city manager, said.

Holly said he felt the buffer would be adequate because of the investment made of $130,000 on new water meters.

"We need to have a similar investment next year of another $130,000 in order to get all the meters replaced," Holly said. "We believe conservatively that after two years we will generate about $380,000 just by measuring the water that our citizens are actually consuming."

Holly said the despite inadequate records, he feels that the council has set aside enough in the budget for chemicals for the water and sewer treatment plant, supplies, and electrical costs. However, due to the fluctuating price of gasoline, he anticipates having to make an amendment to the budget to alter what is set aside for fuel.

Included in the budget packet was projected expenditures and revenues for the 2006-2007 budget. Among the items listed is the $370,000 Texas Water Development Board loan payments starting on July 1, 2007.

"We have not budgeted any of the money for that, but the reason being is the investment in the water meters," Holly said. "We believe that we are going to not only be able to make the loan payment back, but also have additional flexibility with revenues with meters."

Improvements to the water system are projected to save $10,500 on water treatment chemicals, $30,000 on a sewer permit fee that will no longer be necessary, and $8,000 on sewer chemicals.

"I would like to compliment [Mr. Holly] on the manner that [he] handled this budget," Elizabeth Nelson, council member said. "We did not have to have two meetings every week for six weeks to get it done."

Following passage of the budget, the council approved amending the tax rate for 2005-2006.

"The new effective tax rate is 0.6036," Holly said. "Of that, 0.1304 is necessary to pay the $147,000 set aside for bonded indebtedness."

The effective tax rate is the rate that would provide the taxing unit with approximately the same amount of revenue it had the year before on properties taxed in both years.

Marlin had an increase in total assessed evaluation of $112 million dollars as opposed to $111 million dollars from the previous year.

Following the meeting, the council praised the city's actions in helping evacuees from Hurricane Rita.

"The community responded very well to the need to take care of our brothers and sisters," Holly said. "A lot of people put in a lot of hours."

Holly said the volunteer fire department carried the brunt of the service. He estimated they helped 500 - 600 people. At city hall, approximately 30 people were helped and five chose to spend the night at city hall. Holly said he had several evacuees express pleasure over their time in Marlin.

"It was stressful," Holly said, "but very rewarding,"
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