Proposed FY 2018 budget includes major capital investments, lower tax rate
City Council will soon be considering investments in the city’s park system, public safety, roads and economic development — as well as a fourth cut to the tax rate in as many years — following the filing of Keller’s Fiscal Year 2017-18 Proposed Budget this week.
“As always, we remain focused on exploring new opportunities to provide high levels of service to our citizens in a manner that is both innovative and resourceful,” City Manager Mark Hafner said. “The budget is not merely made up of numbers, but is an expression of our council’s vision, and our citizens’ values and aspirations.”
Highlights of the $84 million budget include the development of Milestone Park in southeast Keller, another $250,000 in new trail construction, and the creation of a Park Capital Replacement Program setting aside funds for future repairs and replacements of assets like playgrounds and pavilions.
Other portions of the budget continue funding for important upgrades to our street infrastructure, including more than $1.6 million in street maintenance, construction of a roundabout to improve the Keller-Smithfield/Johnson Road intersection, a signal retiming project on FM 1709 and Hwy. 377, and $130,000 in sidewalk repairs and construction. FY 2018 will also see work begin on one of the most significant water projects in recent Keller history: replacement of the Alta Vista pump station, now over 40 years old, construction of a new 30-inch water line and participation in a new Fort Worth transmission main that combined total $16.2 million.
And in the area of public safety, it provides for police fleet replacements, critical EMS equipment, refurbishment of an ambulance box and more. It also includes a proposed 5 percent market adjustment for applicable police and fire personnel aimed at bringing their salaries more in line with our benchmark cities and well as the reintroduction of an annual “step” plan, set at a sustainable 2 percent. Civilian employees would see a 1 percent market adjustment this year as well as a 2 percent merit increase.
Additionally, the budget sets aside money for a concept plan focused on infrastructure and beautification investments in Old Town Keller East; pays for the engineering of new portal signs marking Keller’s northern and southern borders on Hwy. 377; maintains funding for economic development incentives and initiatives; and plans ahead to cash-fund future fire apparatus purchases and city facility capital projects.
These plans and more addressing needs citywide would be accomplished with a fourth cut to the tax rate in as many years — a 1/4-cent reduction bringing the city’s tax rate down to $0.4275 per $100 of taxable value — paired with City Council’s recent approval to double Keller’s homestead exemption from 4 percent to 8 percent.
For a detailed look at the Fiscal Year 2017-18 Proposed Budget, visit www.cityofkeller.com/budget. Questions may be directed to the Finance Department at 817-743-4025.