WESTLAKE — The city council here adopted the city budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, at their Monday night regular meeting.
Mayor Bob Hardey reported that the City of Westlake will have reduced its debt by 30 percent between June 30, 2017 and June 30, 2020, from $9.6 million to $6.7 million. Over the same period of time, the city funded or contracted for more than $7 million of capital projects with no new debt issued.
“The budget is good,” said Hardey. “Are we perfect? No. We still need to be very conservative. But we were knee deep in water. Now we’re on a little hill on an island. We’re not at the top of the mountain yet.”
The 2019-20 budget includes a 2 percent pay increase across the board. Hardey told the council the administration is,”trying our best to give a small boost” to employees at the lowest end of the pay scale. He noted that the city has to compete for employees with local industry.
Councilman Dan Racca offered highlights from the previous fiscal year from a budget message the administration prepared for the state. During the last fiscal year ending June 30:
• Gas sales increased 10 percent and sales tax revenue increased about 6.5 percent.
• The Golf Course Real Estate Fund had more than $1.8 million in lot sales revenue, which was used to complete funding the Golf Course Clubhouse projects, on which construction has begun.
• The new “Hawk Hereford” Westlake Police Station was completed and its $2.1 million price tag paid off with no debt financing incurred thanks in large part to the $1 million state grant the city received with assistance from State Sen. Ronnie Johns and State Rep. Stephen Dwight.
• The $280,000 golf maintenance building will be complete and paid for in full early next year with no debt financing incurred. When occupied, it will decrease monthly rental fees by $4,000.