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Kerens adopts budget, proposes same tax rate

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KERENS–Kerens City Council adopted its fiscal year 2021 budget Sept. 8, which includes about $1.7 million in municipal spending and features raises for almost all city employees, with a $2-per-hour bump in pay for police officers.
The City of Kerens is expected to officially set its 2020 tax rate during a Sept. 15 special meeting, following a public hearing on the proposed $0.6805 rate per $100 of taxable property value, the same rate as the previous year. Council proposed the tax rate during an Aug. 31 special meeting.
Further, council members allocated $7,500 of the city’s portion of CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act federal funding to Kerens ISD to allow the school district to get 50 laptop computers and 100 hotspots for virtual learning. The remainder of the $30,000 cost for those items will be covered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), according to Superintendent Martin Brumit.
Council also voted to use its CARES Act funding to give hazard pay to city workers for their emergency efforts during the pandemic, which will be a lump sum of more than $2,000 per eligible employee.
In addition, members approved the 2020 Atmos Mid-Tex natural gas rate review settlement, which comes out to average increases of $9.90 per month for residential customers and $15.40 monthly for commercial accounts.
The council also approved issuing a special-use permit to place a new, 4-bedroom doublewide mobile home at 402 S. Humphrey Ave., after a public hearing. Members also approved a bid by a Mexia construction company to replace the bar screen at the wastewater treatment plant, worth $20,600.

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