Bowie's 2016-2017 Municipal Budget approved at Tuesday's meeting

Bowie's 2016-2017 Municipal Budget approved at Tuesday's meeting

BOWIE, TX (KAUZ) - Bowie's 2016-2017 municipal budget draft was approved at Tuesday's city council meeting.
Ricky Tow, Bowie's city manager, said the city's programs and projects, like street repairs, the police and fire department, and parks, will not be downsized in this year's budget.

Even though the general fund that takes care of these programs is lacking about $2.8 million, Tow said the enterprise fund will compensate for it.

Tow said his goal is to get the budget numbers out to the city councilors to show them the revenues they want to bring in.
     "Get them ready to project out there future tax rate that will be proposed out in the next couple weeks, and then move forward on that and get prepared for their workshops," said Tow.
Tow said right now, Bowie's revenue for the general fund is an estimated $6.1 million, and expenses are projected to be about $8.7 million.

The city's overall revenue comes from the water, sewer and electric services.
He adds the expenses are down a little, but they are still close to the average mark.
     "Expenses will be all your labor, street lighting and just any routine cost," said Tow.
General property values went up a little bit this year.

This along with the city's revenue and expenses will help the council decide if any cuts need to be made and determine the city's tax rate
On August 2nd, there will be a public hearing meeting that will begin the process to start setting the tax rate.
Good news for Bowie's budget: the city is close to paying off a much needed service.
     "We pay off the water and wastewater plant, the plants themselves, that note actually pays off right at the end of the physical year," said Tow.

Tow said even though this is not a great time for the city to invest, he does believe it is a good time for them to get a plan started to improve Bowie's Parks.
A master plan was presented by an architectural firm during a public hearing at Tuesday's meeting.

Officials with the firm said it is important to update the city's parks because it improves the quality of life for residents, and it can also bring in some revenue.
The firm looked at seven parks in the area and said the biggest concern is the outdated playground equipment and some of the areas not meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
Those residents who voiced their opinions said they want to see more trails for running and baseball fields for younger players.

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