Funding for senior citizen, teen activities set aside in budget

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

With a public hearing on the budget scheduled for Tuesday morning, the City of Alice adopted a nearly $24 million budget for fiscal year 2007-2008 Saturday.

The budget, which totaled $23,906,352, was adopted without council approval Saturday, because the city's charter mandates the budget must be adopted by Sept. 15 of every year.

The budget breakdown includes $13,636,994 in the general fund; $7,590,041 in the utility fund; $1,985,574 for debt service; $481,574 for the golf course; an estimated $130,000 in hotel and motel tax; and $82,169 for the airport fund.

The budget allocates money for a number of new projects, such as $20,000 for senior citizen programs, $12,500 for teen events, and $35,000 for a new skate park.

The budget also includes a three percent pay raise for almost all employees.

City manager Albert Uresti said Friday a plan to provide health care coverage for all city council members, at an estimated cost of $19,000, was rejected by the city council and was not included in the budget.

Under capital improvements, the budget includes $35,000 in improvements to the fire station, $50,000 for breathing apparatus equipment for the fire department, and $35,000 for a new roof for the police department.

The budget also includes $20,000 for a new public access channel for the city and $4,500 to extend the pier at Lake Findley. The budget also includes a $50,000 contingency fund to be used by the city manager and $10,000 that can be allocated for economic development.

The public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Alice Council Chambers of Alice City Hall.