Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Jorunal

To fund several city projects in the works involving matching grants, the Orange Grove City Council approved an increase in the property tax rate by $0.043 cents, to $0.7727 per $100 worth of property valuation.

Last year's tax rate was $0.7293.

The 2007-2008 Orange Grove city budget was also approved at Monday's meeting.

The total revenues in the Enterprise Fund Budget for the 2007-2008 budget is $524,000, which is nearly $50,000 more than the projected numbers on the current budget.

This projected increase will help to pay for the matching funds on several city grant projects currently in the works or in the planning stages. Total projected expenditures come to $507,900.

Several of these projects include the sewer plant improvement grant, which requires matching funds and repainting and repairing of the water tower.

Also in the works is a grant program to supply housing to five families in Orange Grove, which requires matching funding, and the ongoing street improvement project.

Under the General Fund budget approved Monday, the city will have a total revenue of $646,850.

The expenditures, which cover administration, municipal court, police department and fire department total $644,582.

Along with the approved budget and the approved tax rate increase to cover the new projects, the city also approved increases in the monthly water and sewer rates.

The basic water rate will rise $2, up to $23.82 a month, and the sewer rate will increase by $1 to $16.18 a month.