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Piney Point Village Budget - FY 2024

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

This Council is pleased to present the 2024 Proposed Budget as we move toward the final stages of adoption. The filed budget was presented in July as balanced, where total expected revenues equal total planned spending. Since July, further improvements to the filed budget have been recommended as the Council proposes to direct a portion of unallocated resources toward capital programming while maintaining a solid reserve for any unanticipated circumstances.

The council is scheduled to approve the proposed 2023 municipal tax rate, which will maintain the existing rate of 25.514 cents per $100 of taxable value for the eleventh consecutive year. Additionally, the council recently passed an ordinance that increases tax exemption relief by $79,000 (taxable value) for homestead owners who are over 65 and meet the necessary qualifications.

The proposed budget for this year is $10,158,383, with $2,462,900 devoted to capital expenditures. The bulk of the budget, $7,695,483, is allocated to recurring operating expenditures. The budget is divided into various divisions, with the majority of resources being allocated to police and fire services. Police services represent 34% of the operating costs, while fire services represent 27%.

The Memorial Village Police Department (MVPD) provides police services to Piney Point, Bunker Hill, and Hunters Creek. Piney Point Village pays $2,622,267 for this cooperative service. The budget allows for changes to MVPD's contribution to the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) plan. This includes returning the updated service credits (USC) and cost of living adjustments (COLA), which were removed during the 2009 global recession. The goal of these changes is to help MVPD attract and retain the most qualified officers and support staff by improving the department's competitiveness. The police budget also includes a potential 3% base salary increase.

The Village Fire Department (VFD) offers fire and emergency services to all six villages, including Piney Point, contributing $2,081,832 to the department's budget. The VFD will allocate three full-time employees to support its second ambulance service fully. Funding will cover the increased costs of medical supplies for the ambulance and support for scheduled apparatus replacements.

This proposed budget accounts for the anticipated rate hikes (at 5.41%) and fuel expenses that come with providing top-tier sanitation services to households, ensuring that residential valet services continue within our community. Our priority is to maintain a high standard of service for residents while managing any financial impacts under the current resource parameters.

The budget includes up to 5% salary increases based on merit and competitive benefits, as well as the allocation of part-time labor for landscape and right-of-way maintenance.

Our current annual resources have 24% allocated towards capital expenditure. It's important to note that this amount is separate from the allocated capital scheduled for the 2023 fiscal year. Additionally, several programs planned for 2023 will carry over into the new budget since they span across multiple fiscal years.

The budget proposal sufficiently backs up recurring operational expenses and sets aside $1.5 million for capital programming. The estimated capital in 2024 will increase to a total of $2.46 million with the inclusion of $918 thousand in unassigned funds. Capital programming includes the following:

  • The South Piney Point Road Drainage Outfall Project aims to replace a defective 96-inch corrugated metal drainage pipe along South Piney Point Road. The project spans from the Carlton Park intersection to Buffalo Bayou. The city's General Fund has allocated over $1.7 million for the project, and a considerable portion of the funding, which amounts to $847,418, comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Though the project incurred unexpected costs due to the premature failure of the pipe that caused a sinkhole, the total allocation of the project is unlikely to exceed $2.6 million. Any remaining contingency will go to the fund balance.
  • The Windemere Drainage Outfall Project is set to improve the 24-inch drainage outfall leading into Buffalo Bayou. A significant portion of the funding for this project has been secured through cash obtained in prior years, with the City of Houston taking on the coordination of a similar project within the vicinity. The total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $508,400 in FY 2024, with $50,000 earmarked within FY 2023. It is anticipated that this project will involve the exploration of various alternative options that are independent of the city of Houston's coordination. Rest assured that every effort will be made to ensure that this project is executed to the highest possible standard, focusing on delivering the most effective and long-lasting solution.
  • Engineering is actively collaborating with the Williamsburg HOA and the City to install a closed storm sewer system along the frontage properties of Williamsburg Drive. The partial completion of the project in FY2023 confirms the initiative's viability, and the remaining cost is estimated to be around $230,500. Completing this project will improve the safety and drainage of the area.
  • The city is joining forces with Harris County Precinct 3 to upgrade three traffic signals along Memorial Drive. The projected expenses for this undertaking fall between $1.6 million and $2.1 million and Precinct 3 is expected to contribute up to $1.5 million. The City has already committed $600,000 to replace three of the intersections' signals, encompassing funds for signal masts with ornamental features, unforeseen expenses, and potential contingencies.
  • Additional projects proposed in this budget comprise sidewalk upgrades ($200,000), asphalt paving upgrades ($400,000), upkeep and replacement of decorative street signs ($200,000), and installation of school zone flashing beacons for MDE ($50,000).

Our Council remains committed to enhancing the well-being of our citizens through various programs. This budget outlines our plan to undertake substantial capital projects in the near future. A concise one-page overview of Piney Point Village's 2024 Budget and Notice of Meeting to Vote on the Tax Rate. Our Council and I believe that the proposed budget is responsible and acceptable. Piney Point Village will host a Public Meeting on the budget and tax rate. The public meeting is set for Monday, September 25th at 6:00 PM at Ecclesia located at 325 North Piney Point Road. The City Council will be present to listen to public feedback before voting. We value your presence and input at our meetings. We are always open to your opinion and appreciate your participation. Thank you!


Mark Kobelan

Mayor, Piney Point Village

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