City Council approves lowered tax rate and budget
MELISSA (September 23, 2021) Following a series of public hearings, the Melissa City Council unanimously approved both a lowered tax rate and budget for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, providing increased support to public safety, adding critical staff positions, and paving the way for a number of initiatives that will address quality of life improvements for Melissa residents.
Residential and commercial growth in Melissa resulted in a decrease in the ad valorem tax rate of $0.041 per $100 valuation from the 2020 tax rate. The FY 2022 rate is $0.568157 per $100 valuation. Even with the lowered tax rate, City officials crafted a budget that includes funding for an additional Police Officer, a Police Detective position, a part-time administrative assistant for the Police Department, incentive funding for Fire and Police Department education and certification, and funding for a program designed to prepare firefighters for supervisory positions.
Moreover, the budget allows for the addition of a parks maintenance position, a Code Enforcement position, and a cost of living adjustment for City employees. A contract with the Texas Department of Transportation for maintaining SH 121 right-of-way is also included in the budget.
Partial funding for a number of capital improvement projects was also included in the budget. Using a combination of funding mechanisms that included partnerships with the City’s Community Development and Economic Development accounts as well as the Tax Increment Financing district, the City will complete some critical projects that hold the promise of improved transportation access and expanded park and trail facilities.
Specifically, road and street construction will include the linking of Cardinal Drive northward to Highland Road, and Highland Road to SH 5, providing enhanced access to current and future residential and commercial developments in the City’s growing central corridor. In addition, new roads and streets will be constructed in the areas surrounding Melissa High School, designed to provide additional access to the Melissa ISD stadium now under construction.
In preparation for the expansion of SH 5, the City has committed to completing the utility line relocations beneath the the two sides of the planned roadbed. This allows for the expansion to proceed once approved by TxDOT.
The development of parks and trails will also become evident shortly as the first phase of the 90-acre park begins to take shape with the construction of an 11-acre lake on the park’s southeast corner. Other amenities are also part of the park’s phase one schedule. Meanwhile Country Ridge Park will enter phase two of its continuing development and phase four at the Z-Plex will begin in short order. The trails system will be enhanced with the connection underneath SH 121 at Clemmons Creek.
Council also approved the reduction in residential water rates along all volumetric tiers ranging from $0.34 to $0.75. Solid waste rates, on the other hand, will see a slight rise due to various factors including rising fuel costs and disposal fees. Residential accounts will see an average increase of about $1 per month. Both the lowered water rates and the increase solid waste will be reflected in the November bills.