Small tax rate reduction
There will be no tax hike in fiscal 2012-2013 for City of Rockwall property owners – in fact, they will pay a slightly lower rate.
Rockwall city council members asked that the staff reduce the existing tax rate of 50.31 cents per $100 valuation to the calculated effective tax rate of 50.25 cents.
The proposed new operating budget totals $26.2 million.
It includes adding four police officers and two firefighters. Also, $150,000 will be added to the street maintenance budget for repairs and maintenance operations – a 23.7 percent increase.
A conservative 5 percent increase in sales tax revenue is projected for the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1st. Sales tax revenues for 2011-2012 are estimated to be up 9 percent by the end of September.
A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for September 4th, 6 p.m. at City Hall.
Downtown re-do plans
Contracts with LaTerra Studio and with Hill & Wilkinson for completion of design and construction in Downtown Rockwall were approved recently by the City Council.
In May voters approved $8.625 million for improvements in the downtown area. The work will include sidewalk and street reconstruction, landscaping and lighting.
Actual construction work in the area won’t start until the beginning of next year, according to City Manager Rick Crowley. There will be several meetings with business and property owners to work out details of the project and before final plans are presented to the council for approval.
Council member Mark Russo announced that he will resign from the City Council on Sept. 18th.
Mr. Russo was recently elected Justice of the Peace for Rockwall County Precinct 3. He will assume the new position in January. The former mayor pro tem said he submitted his resignation to council because he needed time to prepare for his new job.
“It was an honor to serve this city,” Mr. Russo said. “I made great friends. It’s something special when people select you to serve.”
Mayor David Sweet congratulated Mr. Russo on his election victory and wished him “good luck.”
“I want to thank Mark for his commitment and service to our city for the last four years,” the mayor noted.
The council will soon begin the process of selecting someone to fill the vacant position, Mayor Sweet said.