City tax rate, budget for 2013-14 adopted

The 2013-2014 tax rate and budget for the City of Sweetwater were adopted during Tuesday morning's city commission meeting.Approval was given for the second and final reading of the ordinance fixing and levying the tax rate of 48 cents per $100 valuation. Since this year's proposed tax rate did not exceed the effective tax rate, a motion to adopt the ordinance did not require the language about "tax increase," as stated in 26.05 (b) of the Property Tax Code.The second and final reading of the ordinance adopting the budget for the new fiscal year was also approved, in which the first reading was held at the August meeting. Prior to its approval, the second and final reading of the appropriations ordinance for the 2013-2014 Budget was approved, following its first reading which also took place at the August meeting.Following its adoption, however, the first reading of an ordinance amending the new budget took place and was approved. The emergency amendment will allow the city to add a temporary civil service position, due to the injuries sustained by firefighter Nick Barton in his recent accident which prohibit him from returning to work at this time.The addition of the temporary position allows the fire department to be fully staffed. However, it was noted that the position could become permanent, pending the status of Barton's return or even some possible retirements.Additionally, two resolutions were adopted and approved, the investment policy and financial policy for the 2014 fiscal year. Also during the meeting, the second and final reading of the ordinance amending last year's fiscal budget was approved.Furthermore, bids for five different items to be used for the 2013-2014 fiscal year were opened. City staff then reviewed the items and made recommendations, in which the following companies were awarded the bids: Johnson Oil Company (fuel and two oil & lubrication products), Western Marketing (seven oil and lubrication products), Vulcan Materials (hot mix cold lay asphalt), Coe Construction (ready mix concrete), and Sweetwater Fire Extinguisher (weed killer).