City passes budget, tax rate without any ‘arm wrestling’

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The Lewisville City Council adopted the fiscal year 2019 tax rate and budget at its regular meeting last night Sept. 17, along with new rates for Atmos Energy.

In four separate items, City Council adopted policies that will define the city’s next year. Council adopted the proposed FY 2019 budget, along with the proposed tax rate. While the maintenance and operations tax rate and the interest and sinking tax rate are shifting, the overall property tax will not change.

Council also amended the outgoing 2018 budget to include all the amendments that had been added over the past year and adopted an updated fee schedule that falls in line with the 2019 budget’s recovery goals. The full fee schedule can be read here.

Council also passed updated customer rates for the natural gas utility Atmos Energy, with residential customer charges going from $18.35 to $18.85 with a 3.96 percent base rate increase, and commercial customer charges going from $41.95 to $43.50 with a 3.67 percent base rate increase. The rates are in accordance with a system-wide rate increase of $24.9 million, which was negotiated by the Atmos Cities Steering Committee, a statewide coalition of cities that influences Atmos Energy’s decisions. The energy company had originally asked for rates that would add system-wide revenues of $42 million.

The city also approved a handful of financial agreements. Council voted for Lewisville to continue its participation in a Texas Department of Transportation program aimed at increasing enforcement on repeated traffic violations. TxDOT will pay the city $79,305, and the city will kick in $31,669. Council also approved a $104,210 contract with Mister Sweeper to sweep Lewisville streets for the next year. The contract also includes two more year-long extension options.

Council also voted to waive fees for the Main & Mill Business Association’s Shared Table event Oct. 14. The waiver covers an expected total of $2,019.88 in fees. The association held a similar event in 2017, with about $9,000 in proceeds dedicated to a mural on the south side of the Beside the Bride bridal shopping store in Old Town.

All items were passed unanimously and with sparse discussion. At the end of the meeting, councilmember Brent Daniels joked that the new iLegislate voting system had taken the fun out of the meetings. He expressed excitement for the annual Western Days festival at the end of September.

“This new system, it seems very sterile, these meetings now. We need to break them up with some arm wrestling or something,” he said.  

Lewisville City Council meetings are at 7 p.m. every first and third Monday of the month at Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church St. in Old Town Lewisville, usually with a workshop session at 6:30 p.m. in which most of the discussion takes place. These meetings are open to the public.

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