Granite Shoals adopts budget, tax rate

Granite Shoals multipurpose sports complex

Lowry Electrical worked on getting electricity to the Granite Shoals multipurpose sports complex Sept. 9. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Granite Shoals City Council adopted a 2020-21 fiscal year budget and a slightly lower tax rate during its regular meeting Sept. 8.

Councilors approved a property tax rate of 59.68 cents per $100 valuation, which is six-hundredths of a cent lower than the previous rate. The council also adopted a $7.9 million budget, which includes new positions in the police and fire departments.

Under this budget, Granite Shoals Fire Rescue will be able to hire six part-time firefighters to ensure three firefighters are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That number is up from the current two.

City Manager Jeff Looney told the council that Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 3 has agreed to kick in an additional $43,500 to its annual fire service contract with the city to help offset the added personnel costs. Granite Shoals officials are awaiting word from the city of Highland Haven on if it will also increase funding to its annual fire protection agreement. 

The city of Granite Shoals has posted job openings for some of the part-time firefighter positions, and City Secretary Elaine Simpson said she’s received two applications so far.

The new budget will also allow the police department to hire one additional officer. Originally, police department officials had requested two more officers. 

“With the increase in staff to our department and a significant staffing increase to the fire department, I appreciate (councilors’) commitment to public safety in our city,” Police Chief Gary Boshears said. “Our council had difficult decisions to make in this budget process, and I hope our citizens appreciate the job their council does.”

In other business, the council:

  • learned that lighting and other electrical work at the multipurpose sports complex was on schedule to be completed by mid-September. Once that is finished, flooring will be installed. City workers will install the playscape and are continuing to examine the field next to the sports complex for a baseball field. 
  • elected Will Skinner as the new mayor pro tem after Jim Davant stepped down from the position. Davant will remain on the City Council.
  • announced it will hold Coffee with the Council from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at Quarry Park, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road. Councilors Bruce Jones, Steve Hougen, and Skinner will answer questions from attendees. 
  • reminded residents that the deadline to nominate volunteers for the John Rinehart Memorial Award is Wednesday, Sept. 30. The award is for outstanding community service to the City.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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