Lufkin’s City Council approved a second reading of the 2019-20 fiscal year budget on Tuesday.

Council members also approved a tax rate of 53 cents per $100 valuation during the specially called meeting.

The only change in the tax rate is shifting a penny from the interest and sinking budget — bond payments — to maintenance and operations. This will not affect taxpayers.

A second and final reading on the tax rate is set for Sept. 17.

The city’s total expenditures are expected to be $74,279,695, while the revenue is expected to be $114,241,228.

The new budget includes a 2% rate increase in water and sewer rates after a study that suggested a 6% rate increase.

The city also approved a 2% rate increase for roll-off containers; the move will primarily affect construction crews.

The budget includes a 2% across-the-board raise for city employees.

City manager Keith Wright said rising property values in town helped offset the loss of $290,000 in revenue from red-light cameras.

Nobody spoke out about any agenda item during the meeting. This was the first council meeting since the city adopted a state law requiring cities and counties allow for public comment.

Approved, on second reading:

■ A zone change for 516 Montrose St. to “commercial.” This is the former Calvary Baptist Church family life center that the city recently purchased to renovate as the new Parks & Recreation building.

■ A budget amendment appropriating funds from the sale of the former Parks & Recreation building at 210 E. Lufkin Ave.

Jess Huff’s email address is

Recommended for you