Financial good news was received by the George West City Council, which learned of a special one-time payment by the state of nearly $1 million and also heard a positive report on the city’s financials for the current fiscal year.

Interim City Manager Shirley Holm told the council that the city received a one-time audit payment of $974,461.32 from the state. A local business discovered that previous sales taxes due to the city had not been paid, and corrected the oversight.

“This was sales tax money that was before the pandemic,” Holm said. “We are also still in line to receive $531,000 (in COVID-19 relief funds).

“That’s great considering where we were,” said Council member Patricia Clifton, referring to the plunge in sales tax receipts resulting from the 2020 pandemic.

“Let’s thank our lucky stars and praise God for that,” Holm said.

As of late April, the city’s general fund has received 102.61 percent of projected revenue  and has accounted for 47.99 percent of expenses at the midpoint of the fiscal year, Holm said.

Meanwhile, the city’s utility fund has received 49.19 percent of its budget for the fiscal year, while using 43.85 percent of the budgeted amount for expenses.

The general and utility funds had a net positive of $1,091,555.87. City bank balances were at $2,708,682.66 as of April 20.

Other updates

• The Council also heard a report on plans to open the city’s pool this summer. Suggested hours are from 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Tentative dates for the pool to be open would be June 1 through July 31.

Lifeguards would be certified at a cost of $200 each, and their certification will be good for two years.

• The city’s splash pad is undergoing maintenance and the city is also working on a system for water irrigation associated with the splash pad. Tentative dates of operation would be June 1 through July 31.

• The city sold its last surplus doublewide mobile home on April 19, for $25,000.

• George West has submitted a community project funding request of $29.9 million which would help pay for repairs of city water lines, valves and fire hydrant replacement. The proposal has been sent to U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez’s office.

• The city has had discussions with Thomas Brocato, an attorney with the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power. The city is contesting a substantial bill received for gas purchases in excess of normal billing amounts for the time period during the February deep freeze. The city continues to work with the Texas Department of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a possible solution.

• The city is working on options regarding its wastewater treatment plant lease, which is scheduled to expire in May 2023.

• George West is seeking two to four new members for appointment to the city’s planning and zoning committee, which was down to three members as of April 22. The board needs at least five members.

•josborne@mysoutex.com•

 

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