It was a short meeting and the final required meeting to approve the 2018-19 city budget and the 2018 Property Tax rate. Not much fanfare, but the approved budget will make for some great leaps in city improvements, most especially its police, fire, and public works departments.

At the close of the meeting, Public Works Director Steve White informed the Council that the recent rains caused problems at the wastewater treatment plant, but none that affect the city’s water supply.

All City Council Members were present, and that was Ryan Neal, Marla Butler, Robert Jaska, Lee Thomas, and Suzon Crowell, along with Mayor Steve Riley.

The first item up was an amendment to the current budget, and City Manager Lane Jones explained that it was to “properly account for bond proceeds received.” The motion carried with a 4-0 vote, with Crowell abstaining.

The upcoming city budget received unanimous approval, via oral, individual votes as required by law.

Jones said, “The budget reflects a reduction in our property tax rate. New housing development and an increase in property values have provided for a modest increase in revenue despite the proposed reduction in rate.”

The new rate will be $0.5959 per $100 property valuation, as compared with the $0.6351 rate of this current fiscal year. For a $100,000 home, that comes to a $39.21 savings.

Jones said, “Our budget will provide a competitive pay plan for our police and fire departments, something that has limited our ability to recruit quality candidates in the past.

“The City will also be hiring a Controller to help manage the finances of the city as we move into this period of rapid growth. Also, two dozen new valves will be installed around the city to provide the ability to isolate areas of the city when work is being done on water lines. Well No. 1 will be completely serviced and put back into operation to better provide for growth.”

White’s announcement was that the recent heavy rainfall created excessive discharges that exceeded the city’s daily limit, 950,000 gallons shown on its permit. He said that the city is required to report such a variance to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the city has taken care of that notification.

White also said that the discharge of the excess flows was not near any water supply or groundwater recharge area and represented no health hazard.

“The flows had no impact on the quality of drinking water for the City of Van Alstyne or any other community,” White said. “However, residents within one-half mile of the wastewater treatment plant discharge (on Spain Road) may want to have their supply tested prior to use.

There was an agenda item calling for a closed session to confer with the city attorney on the Mantua Project; however, that was postponed for a future meeting.