Odessa City Council meeting for next years budget

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -Yesterday the Odessa City Council met to discuss next years budget, and some of the proposals included were a 6% increase in water sewer rates and a 3.5% increase in solid waste rates.

The City Council meeting was the first discussion for the coming years budget.

These proposals aren’t official and one of the topics was an increase of rates in the past years.

One of the reasons the city’s proposal increases these rates is due to old infrastructure needing replacement.

There’s also been a 50% increase in chemicals used by the city’s water and park’s department.

Assistant City Manager of Odessa, Cindy Muncy says that the increase in solid waste rates is to cover debt payments for the city’s water treatment plant.

“That plant was built in ‘59 and was rehabbed in ‘85 and nothing major has been done since then so there’s a lot of needs there.” Muncy said.

Council Member Steven Thompson says that the fund balance should always stay healthy, and that even just by increasing the tax rate by a little bit, can bring in 1.4 million dollars for the general fund.

One of the issues Thompson spoke about was the state of the roads and infrastructure in Odessa, and how they need repairing.

“We’ve got 300 miles of pipelines. Water, sewer especially that need to be replaced so if we started today, we couldn’t do them. It’ll take years to get done.” Thompson said.

The Faudree Road Improvement project was set to be budgeted at 20 million dollars, but came back after with a 31.5 million bid due to higher prices in asphalt and concrete.

Thompson mentioned that the City of Odessa is growing and needs to catch up to its needs.

“The other needs we have are, there’s just so many. We’re growing so fast, we’ve outrun our infrastructure.” Thompson said.

He also says that the city has a general fund of 109 million dollars, but that they agreed to take out 11.5 million from that fund.

1.5 million of that will go to parks and the rest will go toward the Faudree Road Improvement project.

There’s also a possibility of a 2 cent property tax rate increase for every 100 dollar of assessed evaluation, Muncy says this can change in the coming meetings.

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