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Hallsville to OK $1.6M budget

By Sherry Koonce
Sept. 16, 2012 at 11 p.m.

Hallsville City Council members are to take a final look Tuesday at a proposed $1.6 million budget for the coming fiscal year.

The new budget contains funding for street improvements and employee pay raises, but no money for capital improvements or new employee positions.

In August, the city council approved a 0.2778 cent tax rate per $100 valuation to fund the budget, which is less than last year's 0.306 rate.

Mayor Jerri Medrano said the new budget is balanced, but contains few frills.

City employees will see an across-the-board 3 percent pay raise in the new fiscal year budget.

An expected increase in sales tax revenue, up $55,000 from this past year to the $275,000 budgeted for the new fiscal year, is figured in.

Water and sewer rates will remain the same as last year, Medrano said.

Certified appraised values, at $177.3 million, are up 2.9 percent from $172.2 million last year.

Property taxes for the owner of a $100,000 residence will see a tax bill of $306 before any applicable exemptions are figured in. The amount is down $29 from last year's $277.

According to the Harrison County Central Appraisal District, the number of taxable accounts in Hallsville grew from 1,667 in 2011 to 1,687 in 2012.

City aldermen will also consider two new development properties in the city: a Whataburger store on the corner of Cider Street and U.S. 80, and 10 duplex units at FM 450 South.

Medrano said the city, because of growth, has a shortage of rental units.

"Any new rental property will certainly be a welcome addition to Hallsville," she said.

Developer Richard Henson described the duplexes as luxury rentals.

Henson Property Group, a Longview company, plans to build 10 duplexes, for a total of 20 total new rental units. Each brick one-story unit will have granite countertops and plank flooring,

The duplexes are expected to be completed by the first of the year.

Henson is also the developer for the Whataburger restaurant, which is expected to be complete by spring break.

So far, engineer site plans have been completed on both projects.

Henson said he plans to be at the City Council meeting to answer any questions.

The city council also will consider:

<ul> <li>The police department's new canine policy.</li> <li>City of Hallsville employee manual.</li> <li>Holiday schedule for city employees.</li> <li>2013 budget for Texas Eastern 9-1-1 Network.</li> </ul>

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Hallsville City Hall.



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