Despite an impending financial uptick from the City’s sales tax increase, ongoing costs will still outpace additional revenue
By Crystal Havner
Special to the Sun-Gazette
FARMERSVILLE – The City of Farmersville was prepared to be reeling with their fiscal outlook in June, as a result residents and the City welcomed a half-cent sales tax increase. While that may help in the immediate future, Farmersville’s finance director projects that it is not a long term solution. Last Monday, Nov. 20, the Farmersville City Council was presented with some of the latest numbers from fiscal year 2017-2018’s first quarter.
Finance director Steve Huntley said there was some good news and that estimated vehicle license fees came in $22,000 more than projected and will increase the general fund. Even better residents recently passed a half-cent rise in sales tax that is estimated to add $280,000 to the general fund.
“With rising cost due to salaries and benefits, the expiration of the SAFER grant supporting approximately 8% of the general fund salary and benefits for 2019, ongoing costs are likely to exceed any new revenue from this measure,” Huntley stated in his report.
A tax on the commercial cultivation of marijuana was also passed, but no significant developments are in the works. As of late the City of Woodlake has welcomed dispensaries and cannabis cultivation companies into the city limits, while Farmersville is on the cusp of only allowing cultivation now new businesses have approached the City yet.
“We have to be very careful how we allocate this new revenue,” said Huntley.
In other news
Omni Means gave an update on the North Farmersville Blvd. Project. The development will make four lanes and add a bike lane with a median divider. A turn lane will be added at Dillon Ave. Some concerns were addressed about other streets in the area only being able to exit to the North or having to do a U-Turn at Dillon to then make a right onto the street.
Fire Chief John Crivello addressed the responder issue.
“We are going to be going north when responding, so it is not an issue. Any County vehicles will also be heading north and any others coming from the south will be assistance vehicles and can make the U-turn and come back,” said Crivello.
The project will extend curbs and gutters all the way to Noble Ave. When ask about future business development and the need for driveways it was explained that would have to be done on an as needed basis.
The council also approved the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant the will allow for the purchase of 12 sets of nomex flame resistant turnout coats and pants and four more new generation fire shelters. The total cost is $18,864 with the grant paying for half and the city paying for half. The City’s $9,432 will come from fire department developer impact fees.
The Council also honored Hamburgers and Donuts. A local business that has provided for residents for 28 years. The business is located on Farmersville Blvd. and serves breakfast and lunch.
“I’m there every morning,” said council member Leonel Benevides.