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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

City council adds new positions into city budget

Metzli+Soriano+getting+ready+for+an+emergency+call+on+Oct+3rd+at+the+San+Marcos+Fire+Department+on+Hutchison+St.+Photo+credit%3A+Lauryn+Hill

Metzli Soriano getting ready for an emergency call on Oct 3rd at the San Marcos Fire Department on Hutchison St. Photo credit: Lauryn Hill

San Marcos City Council finalized its budget Sept. 19, including new positions in animal control and the fire department.
New positions at San Marcos animal shelters will help turn the facilities to no-kill, defined as animal shelters meeting a 90% benchmark; 90% of animals meet redemption.
Interim Shelter Supervisor Brandon Weigand said he believes the transition to no-kill is great news for the shelter.
“There are going to be a lot of areas where we need strengthening: our adoption, foster and volunteer programs,” Weigan said. “These new staff positions allow us to do just that.”
Additionally. the city budget allocated for a paramedic program for the fire department. The majority of calls made at the fire department are EMS related. Assistant City Manager Steve Parker said the city is moving toward getting every firefighter EMS certified.
“All of our guys are certified as EMT’s, but we would like to have the goal be if we ever had to take over EMS operations, we would have paramedics in our fire department,” Parker said.
Along with additional jobs within the fire department and animal shelters, City Council is bringing back the grant administrator position, which had been vacated several years back.
With a staggered agenda, City Council seeks grants to aid in funding projects like Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, otherwise known as L.E.A.D. The grant administrator would assist in finding grants for such programs.
Council member Lisa Prewitt spoke Oct. 3 at the city’s Criminal Justice Reform Committee regarding how important grants are when it comes to L.E.A.D.
“If we had a grant (for L.E.A.D.), it could pay for itself,” Prewitt said.
The budget plan shows the current tax rate of $61.39 will generate 11.7% more revenue than in 2018. This includes $815,000 from new property being developed in the city. What this means is that it allows city council to use some of the extra money accumulated from the tax rate and put it into other areas like the new positions and other expenses.
“We did more permits between October and May of this year than we did all of previous years; there is a lot of growth in San Marcos,” Parker said.
The Best Buy Call Center continues to be the leading revenue generator in San Marcos, accumulating $7.7 million last year. The fund balance was forecasted at 30% for 2019 and is proposed to meet at 25%.
The fund balance is a savings-generated percentage from taxes city council uses for one-time expenses or special occasions, like natural disasters. The city tries to maintain a 25% fund balance each budget, which includes the use of $1.6 million from the fund balance this year.
The total appraisal for 2020 is proposed at $5.644 billion, with $34.6 billion tax revenue. Out of that tax revenue, 33.7% will go to the city’s debt, while the rest is dedicated towards operations.
To look at the city budget, visit sanmarcostx.gov.

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