Budgets for cities and counties do not start until October, but that does not stop the City of Navasota from having preliminary discussions about next year’s money.
New city manager Jason Weeks discussed potential needs for next year at Monday’s city council meeting. He touched on the needs, which range from a new fire station, to cyber security, to hiring a second city inspector. But, none of that works without actual employee retention, which has been a struggle in recent years.
“Until we provide fair compensation for our employees, we will continue having a revolving door in this community. So, we need to either come up with a compensation study, and find a plan to get our employees to market value, and stop that bleeding of our employees to other communities, that are paying significantly more than our community,” said Weeks.
Weeks said that all of these items are preliminary, and likely cannot be taken care of in a single budget.
Asking the tough questions, Weeks raised possibilities with council about where to find extra income to pay for the cities future needs.
“Are you comfortable with the tax rate? Do you want to see a tax decrease? Do you want to see a tax increase? Do you want to look at ways to implement impact fees? Are we charging sewer, water, and gas rates sufficient charges to pay for our operations, and future capital projects?” said Weeks. “In order to buy all these things, we need to first address some of those ‘elephant in the room’ questions: where is council thinking about on areas of revenue, first?”
Mayor Bert Miller in the open discussion expressed a desire to focus on kids activities in town.
No decisions were made, as budget talks will continue at future meetings the next few months.