PHOTO: An image from a March 3 presentation to City Council shows the proposed new design for the duck pond in Riverside Park. The Victoria City Council approved funding for renovations to the duck pond in the budget for fiscal year 2021.
The Victoria City Council on Tuesday approved the budget and property tax rate for fiscal year 2021.
The fiscal year 2021 budget totals $146 million and is made up of different funds, including the general fund and various enterprise funds. The general fund supports the majority of basic City services and totals $50.1 million.
The property tax rate is $0.6115 per $100 of valuation, the same as the rate for fiscal year 2020. However, thanks to growth in the City’s tax base and added improvements to the tax roll, the City will see an increase of $410,000 in total property tax revenue. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the City anticipates receiving $766,000 less revenue from sales tax.
The approved budget allocates $18.85 million for capital improvement projects, which is on par with recent fiscal years. The allocation includes continued road maintenance and construction as well as construction projects for the City’s parks system.
The improvements to the parks system include a new splash pad at Riverside Park and renovations to the duck pond, which will include stabilization and reinforcement of the sides of the pond, new concrete trails, a new gazebo and a floating fishing pier. The City will apply for a grant to help with the expenses of the duck pond renovation.
Additionally, the budget includes an amendment that was added Aug. 27 to provide pay increases for first responders. The pay increases will be based on preliminary results from the City of Victoria’s ongoing compensation and classification study, which indicated that the City’s pay rates for senior and lower-ranked police officers, as well as firefighter/EMTs and fire engineers, are below current competitive market rates. The city is allocating $350,000 toward this effort.
The budget also adds four police officers and new equipment for both Police and Fire.
“This budget reaffirms the City’s commitment to public safety,” City Manager Jesús A. Garza said. “Our first responders have been on the front lines during the pandemic, and we want to continue to strive toward supporting those efforts and our overall delivery of public safety services.”
To read the newly approved budget, go to the Finance homepage at www.victoriatx.gov and click “Financial Transparency.”