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City approves proposed 2021-22 budget

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Contributes to youth fishing tournament

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GUN BARREL CITY–City Council approved the proposed 2021-22 budget following a public hearing and presentation by City Manager Jeff Arnswald at the Aug. 24 council meeting. The budget includes an approximate 15% increase in budgeted sales tax revenue. “The budget for all funds is $5,128,211, an increase of approximately 17% compared to 2020-21 expenditures of $4,379,381 due to a fun balance from 2020-21 in excess of approximately $600,000,” says Arnswald. Arnswald told the council that the 2020 budget was drafted conservatively and actual revenue exceeded projected expectations, increasing the fund balance for the 2021-22 budget cycle.
The 2021-22 budget includes a 5% increase in personnel compensation, which also includes a 2% increase in personnel’s Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) contributions. Capital improvement projects are to be addressed under the budget including installation of two-bathroom structures at the park, repairs to the police and fire department facilities and paving the parking lot at the skate park, pond and softball fields. Arnswald said additional improvements include the development of a dog park and volleyball court, lighting upgrades at the pavilion and to construct a cover to protect street department equipment from exposure to the elements. “Critical equipment needs require the purchase of five pickups, two police vehicles and a zero-turn rotary mower. Safety equipment for the fire department includes the purchase of a rescue boat, self-contained breathing apparatus for department personnel and a storm warning siren for residents on the east side of Gun Barrel City,” says Arnswald. Public safety response capabilities will be enhanced by replacing and installing an upgrade to the communications system. This includes a software and hardware replacement at the police and fire departments and the installation of a microwave tower.
The council also heard a presentation from Nathan Byerly with Texas Bass Nation Youth. Byerly requested to hold the 2022 Texas Bass Nation Youth State Championship on Cedar Creek Reservoir with weigh ins to be conducted at the Gun Barrel City Pavilion. The tournament is slated for June 6 through June 11 and is expected to bring 1,250 outside people into Gun Barrel City. “My goal is to put on a tournament that the student anglers and Gun Barrel City will never forget, although that takes operating funds,” Byerly stated in a letter to the council. He says he covers as much of the operating cost through sponsors and host cities and the remainder comes out of annual dues and tournament entry fees. “Every dollar I can raise outside of membership and entry fees is another dollar I can give back to an angler in scholarship winnings,” said Byerly. The council approved to spend $25,000 out of the Hotel Motel fund and entered into a publicity and tourism agreement with Texas Bass Nation Youth. “I think this is an excellent way to spend our hotel motel money, to bring this amount of people in the city,” Council Member Gary Lerew commented.
In other business, council members:
• Approved Ordinance O-2021-026 amending the comprehensive zoning ordinance and map to grant a change in zoning from agriculture district to single-family detached residential district (R-5) for the Meadows subdivision.
• Approved Ordinance O-2021-036 re-establishing and continuing all provisions concerning juvenile curfews.
• Approved Ordinance O-2021-37 amending Chapter 156 by adding boat/trailer storage facilities as permitted by a special use permit.
• Approved an increase of purchase amount for a new animal control vehicle from $15,000 to $18,400 a difference of $3,400.
• Approved Ordinance O-2021-035 authorizing and allowing TMRS updated service credits and increasing the deposit rate to 7% to be effective Jan. 1, 2022.
• Approved Resolution R-2021-026 approving a loan agreement of the Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Government Capital Corporation to finance land acquisition.
• Approved the appointment of Brandi Simpson and Diane Johannes to the EDC Board of Directors.
• Approved to partner with SGR Recruitment Services for the recruitment of a new EDC Executive Director.
• Approved the replatting of lots four and five in the Holiday Club Estates subdivision belonging to Larry Flowers physically located at 168 Memorial Drive into one lot, Lot 4-R.
• Approved the replatting of lots 71 and 72 in the Pleasureland Estates, belonging to Robert and Misty Brownd, physically located at 111 Arrow Way into one lot, Lot 71-R.
• Approved Ordinance O-2021-033 rezoning TR53C, 4.00 acres in the AB 59 J P Brown Survey, Henderson County, belonging to Turner Harvard Family LP from agriculture district (A) to recreational vehicle park district (RVP-1).

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