The city of Rosenberg’s next fiscal year is but a month away. That isn’t stopping council from making last minute changes to the 2021 fiscal year budget.
At Tuesday’s Rosenberg City Council workshop meeting, council member Tim Anders asked his colleagues to take one last look at the supplemental budget requests.
Of the 22 items presented to council in June, city staff narrowed the list down to nine items that could be funded with the proposed $82 million budget and 40-cent tax rate.
Anders suggested reconsidering adding to the budget the $40,000 city website redesign with a $12,000 recurring cost, as well as 15 taser replacements for the police department, amounting to $24,998.
He said that the city website was out of compliance and the tasers are out of warranty.
“Everything here is cost to benefit,” Mayor Bill Benton reminded council. “I’m sorry to restate this, but it comes down to cost.”
The rest of council asked Communications Director Tanya Kveton and Police Chief Jonathan White to explain the issues with the website and the tasers.
“We are at 72% (compliance) today,” Kveton started. “We all use the website on a daily basis and it’s just impossible.
“We’re locked out of most of the pages we need to update. We have had so many errors in the last nine months.
“Once, our calendar completely disappeared. It’s hanging on by a thread, but we’re doing what we can on our end to keep it afloat.”
White said the tasers reached the end of warranty in January.
“They’re basically out of their service life,” council member Jacob Balderas clarified.
“With the climate of everything going on in the country, de-escalation at a non-lethal offense (are tasers). “Another thing is, God forbid, we end up in a situation where there’s a need for crowd control. Old tasers are not going to cut it.
“Turn on any channel you wish and you’ll see other cities going up in (flames).
“I say, let’s look at the website and let’s definitely look at tasers for the officers. I know it’s going to cost a little bit.”
The rest of council concurred.
City Manager John Maresh said the finance department would move things around to make sure the website and tasers could be funded in next year’s budget.
With the proposed 40-cent tax rate, listed are the following supplemental budget requests and their annual and/or recurring costs that have already been approved by council:
1. Patrol vehicle equipment replacement, police department: $375,000 with a $25,000 recurring cost
2. Patrol vehicle computer upgrade, police: $136,800
3. Higher ground replacement, police: $81,000 with a $25,000 recurring cost
4. Facility camera replacement, police: $45,000
5. Unmarked criminal investigations department vehicle for new position, police: $35,000
6. Tractor, parks and recreation department: $31,650 with a $500 recurring cost
Listed are the following personnel budget requests and their annual and/or recurring costs:
1. Detective officer, police: $10,739 with a $75,829 recurring cost
2. Police officer No. 1, police: $11,459 with a $75,226 recurring cost
3. Police officer No. 2, police: $11,459 with a $75,226 recurring cost
The 2020 fiscal year will begin Oct. 1 and the new tax rate goes into effect Jan. 1.