Tyler City Council Passes Budget with Higher Tax Rate, Focuses on Public Safety | Local News

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Tyler’s city council on Wednesday approved the 2021-2022 budget along with a new property tax rate and fee changes.

The $ 212 million spending plan represents a 5% increase over last year’s budget of $ 202 million.

“This budget continues our tradition of responsible government spending while taking into account the needs of our residents: smooth roads, improved traffic, expanded drainage systems, improved water and sewer systems, and public safety services.” cutting edge, ”said Mayor Tyler. Don Warren. “It is rebuilding and improving public works and public safety after the pandemic is over. “

The budget theme, “Called to Serve and Protect,” translates into an increase in public safety personnel and equipment.

The fire department will add two fire stations, improved personal protective equipment and a new tower truck. About $ 20.47 million from the general fund will go to the fire department, which is an increase from $ 19.42 million last fiscal year.

The Tyler Police Department will also fill two new positions – a digital forensic scientist and a homeless coordinator. Approximately $ 30.3 million is budgeted for the police service, an increase from $ 28.37 million in 2020-21.

The council also approved a slightly higher tax rate for 2021-2022 of 26.99 cents per $ 100 of assessment, which represents an increase of 1.09 cents.

The tax rate will increase by $ 1.75 million more than last year’s tax rate, an increase of 7.54%. Of this amount, $ 442,570 is tax revenue that will be drawn from new properties added to the tax rolls.

Some fee increases are also included in the budget, including a new total of $ 19.53 for solid waste collection which includes waste collection twice a week. That’s an increase of $ 2.50 from 2020-2021.

“This rate increase will help ensure that Tyler Solid Waste can continue to fulfill its mission of providing exceptional service that is both economically and environmentally responsible while meeting the needs of our community,” said Leroy Sparrow, Director of Waste solid.

Go to cityoftyler.org to consult the 2021-22 budget in detail.

The council also approved the city manager to enter into an engineering contract with Kimberly-Horn and Associates to design traffic lights and intersection improvements for five road safety improvement program projects.

All five projects are part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s 2021 Road Safety Improvement Program. Improvements to this program include better ramps, pedestrian signals and push buttons, and better communication at intersections for better traffic flow.

The program is a federal aid reimbursement program where certain costs are paid by TxDOT or the city depending on the roads impacted by the projects.

The US Department of Transportation provides federal funding for 90% of construction costs, with the city paying the remaining 10%. The city will also pay 100% of the engineering, design and any construction cost overruns for three of the traffic system improvement projects.

Projects that fall under this program include:

  • The North Broadway and West 26th Street Crosswalk Project
  • New Copeland Road Signage and Crosswalk Improvement Project
  • West Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard signage and pedestrian crossing improvement project

Two signal improvement projects in the city will be funded at 10% by TxDOT. The remaining 90% will be funded by federal funding from the US Department of Transportation.

Projects that fall under this framework include:

  • The South Broadway Avenue and Robert E. Lee Drive Signage Improvement Project
  • The Gentry Parkway Improvement Project

“This is a great opportunity to raise dollars at the federal and state level to ensure that city funds go further,” said traffic engineer Cameron Williams. “We anticipate construction costs of approximately $ 2.1 million from the federal government and TxDOT to complete these projects. “

Council also approved a contract to rehabilitate Alpha Taxiway at the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. The engineering services framework contract with KSA Engineering will cost $ 205,680.

Officials said the taxiway had excessive cracking of its asphalt, which can lead to foreign object debris and be hazardous to aircraft at the airfield. The taxiway will be reconstructed using Portland cement concrete instead of asphalt.

The planned start date is summer 2022, and construction is expected to take around five months. The Federal Aviation Administration will cover 90% of the costs, with the Town of Tyler’s half-cent sales tax fund providing a local 10% match.

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