In Tuesday's budget workshop, Burkburnett city officials worked hard to balance the budget and keep taxes down for residents, while trying to pay for a number of projects.
"The city staff has worked diligently in doing what we've asked them to do, in keeping the tax rate down and essentially, the same as last year," said City Commissioner, Josh Andrajack.
During the May elections, residents voted on a slight tax increase to cover the cost of the new Family Aquatic Center. "What they've given us so far is no other increase. Now that that's done, we've asked them to go back, that created a small shortfall of about 25 thousand dollars. So we asked staff to go back and essentially balance the budget," said Andrajack.
Burkburnett residents had mixed reactions about the idea of taxes being raised. One woman stopping for gas with her family said, "I don't think they should raise taxes because it's hard enough as it is for people to live."
Another woman who was stopping into a local convenience store said, "Personally, I think it'll be beneficial. It'll be great for us to get off of Wichita water for one thing, and the Aquatic Park will give the people of Burk something to do in Burkburnett."
When asked, what is in the budget that residents could look forward to and be excited about Andrajack said, "The new Family Aquatic Center, that's on the way. And of course also, we're working diligently on our new water well project, and it's anticipated that we'll close on the acquisition of that land within the next couple weeks. And, from there we'll begin the work to get our new water wells drilled."
The budget discussion will continue. City officials will hold another meeting Thursday, where they will focus on the water budget. Residents are invited to attend but, will have to wait until the public hearing to ask questions or voice their opinions.
Two separate meetings will be held in the coming weeks to vote on the budget and tax rates. Andrajack said, that vote will not happen until city officials have come to an agreement on a budget that is best for the people of Burkburnett.