It’s still months in the planning, but Dayton City Manager Steve Floyd is feeling optimistic about the next fiscal year’s budget.
“We are not back to zero, but we are heading that way,” Floyd told Bluebonnet News on Friday, just two months after he began tackling a $5 million budget shortfall that was left from previous administrations. Floyd, who joined the City in January 2022, has been operating the City as lean as possible, cutting 24 positions and trimming costs.
“I am very optimistic with where we are heading. With ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding and increased water rates, we are heading in the right direction,” Floyd said.
One of the ways the City was previously bleeding money was through engineering services, which Floyd and the City Council has now addressed. In a council meeting on Thursday, June 16, Council amended the fee schedule as it relates to civil review and construction inspection fees. Previously, the City was offsetting a portion of these fees.
In the agenda packet, the problem was laid out as, “A civil review engineer fee for one development costs $5,970. The application fee based on the information provided by the developer costs $1,605, leaving $4,365 paid by the City.”
Moving forward, developers will be required to pay all the costs for plan reviews, Floyd said.
As the City is poised for a tremendous amount of development, City Council also authorized an agreement with Whiteley Engineering for engineering services for preliminary work related to expanding the water and sanitary sewer systems to areas of new development and existing parts of the city.
“What the focus will be immediately is getting the City water out on FM 1960 to help us service a new potential subdivision,” Floyd said.
City Council also approved an agreement with the River Ranch development on SH 146 South, which promises to have 14,000 homes at final build-out. This agreement is for Dayton Fire Department to provide fire protection to the development at a cost of $12 per month per house.
According to Floyd, the developer Eddie Gray has a couple hundred lots that are ready to build at this time. Home are expected to be ready for new residents by next summer.
Council also approved a change to the fee schedule for non-payment of utilities. Prior to the change, customers could “beat the meter reader” before he or she made it to their home by rushing to make the payment, thereby avoiding a cut-off fee. The new fee schedule will assess a $50 fee for any customer who fails to may their payment on utilities within 10 days after the due date. This fee will be assessed even if the payment is received prior to utilities being disconnected.
In other business:
- Council awarded a bid for $33,796 to On Par Civil Services for construction of a new sidewalk along Church Street between US 90 and Cook Street. Funding for this sidewalk comes from a Texas Community Development Block Grant that was awarded to the City.
- Council adopted charter amendments that were approved by voters in the May 7 election.
- Council approved a zoning amendment request for a property located at the northeast corner of SH 146 and Brown Road, at 805 S. Highway 146. This 0.315-acre tract was changed from semi-urban residential to general commercial. The developer of the property plans to develop a retail site.
- An agenda item to change the zoning of a property on FM 1409 at Lovers Lane from semi-residential to commercial died for a lack of a motion from Council.