Notes from Budget Workshop No. 2 (Tuesday)

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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council had its second workshop about the proposed FY16 city budget on Tuesday at the CSU Meeting and Training Facility.

Click here to review the notes from Monday’s meeting. The third workshop will be Wednesday at 3 p.m., with a fourth scheduled for Thursday, if needed.

Tuesday’s session primarily covered the city’s funding of outside agencies and the hotel tax fund.

The meeting was called to order at 3:11 p.m. and was adjourned at 7:30 p.m. Mayor Nancy Berry opened the meeting with a moment of silence in memory of longtime College Station firefighter Bart Humphreys, who passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 63. Humphreys retired in 2014.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation received by the council:

Outside Agency Funding

Total proposed FY16 outside agency funding is $4.21 million. Requested from the General Fund is $1.21 million for these agencies:

  • Research Valley Partnership: $350,000 (operations).
  • Arts Council of Brazos Valley: $35,000 (operations).
  • Noon Lions Club: $15,000 (Fourth of July celebration).
  • Aggieland Humane Society: $205,000 (operations).
  • Brazos County Health District: $326,500 (operations).
  • Brazos Central Appraisal District: $280,253 (operations).

Requested from the Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund is $2.81 million:

  • B-CS Convention & Visitors Bureau: $1,727,855 (operations).
  • B-CS CVB Grant Program: $350,000.
  • Easterwood Advertising: $200,000.
  • Arts Council of Brazos Valley: $96,500 (operations)
  • Arts Council of Brazos Valley: $386,400 (affiliate funding/marketing)
  • Veterans Memorial: $25,000 (development of Civil War memorial).
  • B-CS Chamber of Commerce: $25,000.

Keep Brazos Beautiful requested$56,690 from the Sanitation Fund.

Hotel Tax Fund

The FY16 budgeted hotel tax revenue is $5.5 million, which reflects a 4 percent increase. Hotel tax revenues are expected to increase due to a solid tourism economy and the addition of several hotels.

In FY15, $9.3 million from the sale of the Chimney Hill property were transferred back to the Hotel Tax Fund and is projected to be used mostly for capital projects at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex and the future Southeast Park.

Total operating expenditures in the Hotel Tax Fund are $5.3 million, which is a 134.55 percent increase due to budgeting for the next phase of fields at Veterans Park for $3.7 million. This will include two additional synthetic fields and improvements to existing fields.

A total of $510,000 is also budgeted for the third preferred access payment to the Convention & Visitors Bureau for the use of Texas A&M’s athletic facilities. Total operating expenditures in the Hotel Tax Fund also include $557,659 for expenditures related to Parks and Recreation programs and events such as national and regional tournaments and other eligible events.

Other operating expenditures budgeted in FY16 include $300,000 for soliciting and hosting of sports tournaments. In FY15, the council reduced funding to the CVB by $104,116, which was redistributed to the city’s Public Communications Department for advertising and marketing College Station to visitors.

The proposed budget also contains $25,000 for nonprofit/charitable organizations that hold events at local hotels and meet the criteria for hotel tax use. These funds will be distributed at the discretion of the city manager.

What’s Ahead?

A public hearing on the tax rate is scheduled for Sept 2 at city hall. A public hearing on the budget and tax rate will be Sept. 10. Budget adoption is set for Sept. 21.

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