By Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press

OVILLA – Ovilla City Council members have been working hard for the last few years to make sure that the city stays competitive in all areas with resident’s safety a key point too.

With the 2016/17 fiscal year budget approved at the September City Council meeting recently, council has taken steps to continue the city’s momentum of progress.

The City Council unanimously approved the new fiscal year budget for October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 and Ovilla Mayor Richard Dormier said “With this year’s budget we have been able to add several items related to citizen safety including three new outdoor sirens, a new police patrol vehicle and funding for an additional fireman so we can have a minimum of three on duty 24/7.

Ovilla Mayor Pro Tem David Griffin added that it is important that the City of Ovilla stay competitive within the area.  With that in mind council took a number of items into consideration.

“We were able to give our police and fire departments hourly raises and merit salary increases up to three percent for all employees who qualify.” Griffin said.

The new fiscal year budget will also raise more revenue from property taxes than last year’s budget by an amount of $181,353, which is a 9.30% increase from last year’s budget.  The property tax revenue to be raised from new and improved property added to the roll for the new fiscal year is $101,751.

“We kept the tax rate at the same level as last year,” Griffin explained. “The extra amount of tax revenue that is raised due to higher property appraisals will help fund the $187,000 of new communication radios that were needed by the police and fire departments allowing them to communicate properly with Midlothian, Red Oak, and other area departments moving to this new system.”

The total rollback tax rate for the new fiscal year is $0.758867 in comparison to the past year’s rate of $0.735361 according to the budget information provided at Ovilla’s city website.  Also reported was the total amount of municipal debt obligations currently at $6,877,575 including principal and interest.  The total amount of debt obligation secured by property taxes for the new fiscal year is $511,227.

“The entire budget is a transparent and a well thought out and planned balanced budget,” Griffin concluded.

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