The Arlington City Council voted on several items about the Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 at their Tuesday evening meeting. This included progress toward adopting the budget and ratifying a property tax increase.
City budget manager Kathleen Depweg said the tax rate decreased, but residents will have to pay more due to the increase in home values. In the 2021 fiscal year, the average homestead taxable value was $160,895. In 2022 it will be $172,899. Depweg said residents can expect to pay an extra $5.83 a month.
The council unanimously voted to adopt the Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2022. The expenditures grew $16.6 million from the previous fiscal year. The council voted on the first reading of the ordinance, but the budget will be adopted once the council votes on the final reading Sept. 14. The budget will then go into effect Oct. 1, Depweg said.
She said the new budget would increase the general fund from $255,685,931 to $272,327,635 — a 6.5% change according to the budget presentation. The additional funds will go towards expenditures like water utility, park performance and event services, Depweg said.
The council approved the final reading of an ordinance regarding a settlement with Atmos Energy, a natural gas provider for the city. The corporation filed a request claiming their cost-of-services entitled it to increase rates $43.4 million system wide in April 2021. After negotiations, the rate was reduced to $22.78 million.
According to a staff report, the average monthly rates are expected to increase by $1.28 for residential customers and $4.03 for commercial customers, effective Dec. 1, 2021.
Arlington residents can expect speed limit changes around the city after the council approved an amendment to the Traffic and Motor Vehicles chapter of the city Code of Ordinances.
The speed limit on Arkansas Lane, between Royaloak Drive and Perkins Road, will be removed, allowing for a prima facie speed limit of 30 mph. Keith Brooks, director for public works and transportation, said this was due to concerns from citizens about speeding around Lake Arlington.
The speed limit from Grand Prairie’s north city limit to E. Division Street will return to 60 mph from 50 to 55 mph. The speed limit originally changed due to a widening project on State Highway 360, Brooks said.
Drop-off and pick-up school zone activation times for R.F. Patterson Elementary School and Kennedale High School will change to accomodate in-person classes, according to a staff report.