(September 20, 2013) The Frisco City Council on Tuesday approved the city’s budget for fiscal year 2014, beginning Oct. 1. The budget is based on a tax rate of $0.461910 per $100 of assessed valuation, unchanged from 2013.
The city’s tax revenue should increase to $42,037,781 with the gain in assessed property values of 4.52 percent and new improvements from 2013 to 2014. The overall increase in taxable value, with the new values added, is 7.85 percent.
The average taxable value of a residence in the City of Frisco for 2013 was $287,495. Based on the current rate, the amount of taxes imposed on the average home was $1,327.97. The average taxable value of a residence in the city now is $299,889. So the amount of taxes on the average home will be $1,385.
The total general fund revenue projection is $105.5 million for 2014, as compared to $97.4 million this year. Operating expenditures for the city’s general fund will be $105.2 million in FY 2014, compared to $99.4 million in 2013.
Sales tax receipts are estimated to be $34.9 million in 2014, an increase of 16 percent over this year. The city also forecasts revenue from 2014 building permit fees at $5 million. City staffers estimate permits will total 1,200-1,500 in the next year.
As a result of the increased revenue, the city will be able to add new employees to various departments, to ensure city services meet the needs of a growing population. The budget calls for the equivalent of about 49 new full-time positions. Dismal economic conditions of recent years meant tight budgets and few new positions, but the city is now benefitting from an upturn in business activity.
The Police Department will add four new patrol officers, two new patrol vehicles and replace several older vehicles. With the increased number of residents, calls to dispatch have gone up in recent years. The new officers are intended to help the department maintain its fast response time and protect citizens.
“As Frisco continues to grow, we will need to add personnel to keep the level of service high,” Police Chief John Bruce said. “For patrol we have a service standard index that takes into account calls for service, time spent on calls and a few other factors. It allows us to forecast the number of officers needed to allow time for community policing. The four officers budgeted this year will help us keep officers in each patrol district.”
The city’s voters earlier this year approved a bond package to pay for construction of Fire Station #8 at the northeast corner of Independence Parkway and Rolater Road. Part of the funding for vehicles and design will come from bond funds in the city’s capital projects budget.
The Fire Department also is adding three new battalion chief positions next year to help deal with the increased density of population and rising number of emergency calls. The three new positions will allow the department to divide the city in half, with battalion chiefs covering each side of town throughout three shifts.
“This goes to span of control, allowing for quicker response times throughout the city,” Chief Mark Piland said. “As the city is growing, the density of traffic makes it harder to get around quickly. Having the new command officers, positioned at different fire stations, will prepare us to deal even better with multiple emergencies going on simultaneously.”
The Frisco Athletic Center (FAC), in the midst of a major expansion of its water park, is planning to hire seasonal recreation aides, lifeguards and water safety instructors when work is complete. The FAC is adding 47 new positions, but the seasonal, part-time nature of most of those jobs translates to the equivalent of about 9 new full-time positions.
“The expansion of the outdoor aquatic area will increase our ability to provide Frisco’s families with an exciting aquatic environment for each member of the family,” said Steve Walsh, Recreation Facilities Manager. “One of our goals is to continue to add play value for our residents while ensuring our ability to maintain operational efficiency.”
The existing facility opened in 2007, and the expansion will allow the FAC to continue attracting new residents, who pay a fee to belong, with a wider variety of features. “The toddlers and youngsters will enjoy the interactive water playground,” Walsh said. “The teens will have the ability to race against each other on the 4-lane waterslide, while parents and their children will be able to ride together on the new dual waterslides. And those wanting to slow down a little will undoubtedly enjoy the extension to the ‘lazy river’.”
Funding for the FAC expansion was allocated by the Community Development Corporation.
The city's capital budget tracks large infrastructure and building projects, funded with general operating transfers, intergovernmental revenue, bond funds and other special funding methods.
The fiscal year 2014 estimate for these projects is $147,289,844. A projected bond sale in the summer of 2014 will go toward some of these projects.
These building and infrastructure projects usually span two to three years. Among the roadways targeted for improvement, totaling $110 million, are: County Road 26, Eldorado Parkway, Rockhill Road and Stonebrook Parkway.
The city also is in the process of spending $59.2 million on a number of longer-term park improvements, as well as expanded hike and bike trails. Besides the FAC, some of the other major projects in design or construction are: Bacchus Community Park and Grand Park development.
“A lot of our projects are designed to provide benefit to a wide variety of residents,” said Rick Wieland, director of Parks & Recreation. “But we are also focusing on neighborhood parks and trails, so people have nice areas to gather within their smaller community.”
Find more details about the budget and the programs it will fund on the city website.