City prepares for new fiscal year

A variety of action items were presented and approved for the new fiscal year during the Sweetwater City Commission meeting held on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2012 at City Hall.The two proposals for the self-insured group health, dental and life insurance employee benefit for the 2012-2013 fiscal year were considered. Tommy Morris and Nancy Johnson were at the meeting to present their comparison findings to the commission and made the recommendation to award the bid to Blue Cross, the city's current insurance provider, which was approved.A variety of bids were also opened and considered, with approvals given to the companies who met the specifications. The bid for fuel was awarded to Johnson Oil Company from Abilene, while the bid for oil and lubrication products went to Western Marketing, Inc. in Abilene.In addition, Vulcan Construction Materials from Abilene won the bid for hot mix cold lay asphalt, and the bid for ready mix concrete was awarded to Coe Construction in Sweetwater. The bid for weed killer was awarded to Sweetwater Fire Extinguisher from Trent.Several ordinances were approved as well during the meeting. Among them were the second and final readings of the ordinance amending the 2011-2012 budget and the appropriations ordinance for the 2012-2013 budget.In addition, the second and final reading of the ordinance adopting the 2012-2013 budget, which will raise more total taxes than last year's budget by $320,726, or 19.74%; of that amount, $73,002.55 is tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the roll this year.Also approved was the second and final reading of the ordinance fixing and levying the tax rate of $.463 per $100 valuation. All of the ordinances presented have been reviewed and public hearings were held for the appropriate items.With the Truth-in-Taxation process now completed, approval was also given to ratify the property tax increase reflected in the approved and adopted budget for 2012-2013.A couple of policies were additionally approved during the meeting, including the resolution approving the investment policy for the 2013 fiscal year--a matter to be considered yearly. In addition, the 2013 fiscal year financial policy was approved, with no changes made.