Council Retreat Reviews Strategic Priorities, Service Enhancements with No Expected Tax Rate Increase
DENTON, TX, Aug. 5, 2023 – The Denton City Council convened on Aug. 5 for its annual budget workshop to discuss its strategic priorities and the City’s finances for the next fiscal year (October 2023 through September 2024). The workshop focused first on the Council’s Key Focus Areas and strategic priorities before discussing the City Manager’s proposed FY 2023-24 budget.
In its strategic discussion, Chief Strategic Officer Aimee Kaslik provided an update on the current Council priorities, noting that the vast majority of the 23 priorities had made substantial progress over the last year. Additionally, the City has completed 23 of the 119 current strategic initiatives and its progress on completing all initiatives is at 52%. The progress of all priorities and initiatives is available online.
“Denton’s strategic plan helps set the City’s overall direction, keeps us focused on meeting the needs of the community today and for the next few years, and creates accountability across the organization,” said Kaslik
After the strategic discussion, the City Council received a comprehensive briefing on the proposed FY 2023-24 budget. The $1.95 billion budget presented by staff covers all funds and includes funding for critical infrastructure projects such as upgrades to the City of Denton water and wastewater treatment plants, playground improvements, street reconstruction, and additional programs and personnel to enhance services in our growing community, such as:
- To enhance Public Safety, the addition of three (3) Police Department Personnel and six (6) Fire Department personnel ($950,344)
- To promote the vitality of the downtown with the implementation of the Ambassador Pilot Program ($531,227)
- To better assist the community the addition of six (6) Customer Service Personnel for Customer Relationship Management ($429,197)
- To continue working towards being the employer of choice through funding Employee Merit Increases ($1,106,625)
“One of the most important components of the proposed budget was having competitive compensation for our employees,” said City Manager Sara Hensley. “Becoming an employer of choice in the region will ensure we attract the most talented people to serve our community and make this the best place to live, work, learn, and play.”
The City of Denton has continually worked to become more efficient at delivering services and managing costs. Staff emphasized that these service enhancements would not impact the tax rate, with the current rate of $.560682 per $100 valuation remaining the same in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
The Council also discussed utility rates, with the rates for water, electric, and solid waste and recycling services remaining the same in the coming year. With a number of critical infrastructure projects on the horizon, staff explained the need to increase wastewater rates by 11% in next year’s budget, which is equivalent to an average increase of $3.50 per month. Council further discussed different rate options for all City-operated utilities and requested staff bring back different options in a future meeting.
The budget, tax rate, and utility rates are scheduled to be formally adopted in September. Additional budget information and a copy of the proposed budget are available on the City of Denton website at www.cityofdenton.com/budget.
City Council Key Focus Areas:
- Pursue Organizational Excellence and Collaborative and Respectful Leadership
- Enhance Infrastructure and Mobility
- Foster Economic Opportunity and Affordability
- Strengthen Community and Quality of Life
- Support Healthy and Safe Communities
- Promote Sustainability and the Environment
Contact: Ryan Adams, (940) 349-8565, [email protected]
Visit www.cityofdenton.com for more news and to stay updated.