ENNIS – Members of the city’s commission finalized the city’s tax rate and revenues budget during their regular scheduled meeting Monday night.

The resolutions related to the 2013-2014 fiscal year included establishing the tax rate, adopting the city’s budget and the ratification of the property tax increase.

The rate approved by the commission for the 2013-2014 fiscal year was set at $0.695000 per $100 of property valuation. The appropriated amount for the general fund is $0.448714 with the remaining $0.246288 appropriated for interest and sinking fund.

“While the tax rate is the same as last year, due to an increase in property valuations the rate as adopted is an effective increase over last year,” said City Manager Steve Howerton.

The appraisal district reported the taxable property values for the 2013-year are $1,411,761,140. These values will generate $9,811,739 of city revenues. The property roll values were unanimously ratified by the commission

Ratifying the tax increase, the city’s tax revenues will increase by $188,833 or an increase of 1.96 percent from last year’s budget.

The tax rates will take effect with the 2013-2014 budget on Oct. 1.

The city received notification from the Texas Department of Agriculture that it has been approved for $150,873 in relief funds for the cleanup of debris from the May 2013 tornado.

“We are very please to receive these funds,” Howerton said.

The commissioners passed a resolution agreeing to an architectural and engineering services agreement with Freese and Nichols as a part of the tornado recovery of the downtown area.

“All of these expenses for their engineering services will be paid by the city. None will be passed on to the property owners,” Howerton said.

The scope of the services will be to assist the Historic Landmark Commission review certificates of appropriateness with regard to the secretary of the interiors standards for historic buildings.

Where the buildings cannot be rebuilt, the engineering services will review demolition permit documentation and assist the city with demolition supervision.   

During the workshop session, Howerton announced that Lake Bardwell’s level has dropped to 415.9 feet above sea level.

“This puts us right at two inches before we go to the next stage of conservation. Unless we have an increase in rains this fall, we will be at the 414 foot threshold level for mandatory conservation by November,” Howerton said.

Howerton requested the commissioner’s have their list of streets to be included in the next street bond improvement program prioritized by the next commission meeting.

“We are trying to wrap up the bond program. Our target is $1,350,000 per ward. However we may have to budget down to $1,200,000 per ward,” Howerton said.

The next street bond program is an all overlay program for streets included in the improvement phase.