College Station has their new budget, and it's a big one. Thursday, the council approved the $228 million budget, which is about a 20 percent increase over last year.
Next up, the council will look at setting a tax rate for the coming year. While most councilmembers are looking at a number in the 43-to-45 cent range, Councilman Ron Gay continued his calls for a 10 cent reduction. Gay says that money would come back to the city in the way of sales tax.
City staff has said services could not be fully funded with a 10 cent reduction.
Rates are also rising in College Station. Thursday evening, the council voted to raise water and sewer rates by five percent as of October 1. Also, rates for electric services will be up 12 percent. Rates for solid waste services for residential and commercial locations will rise eight percent.
The same reasons apply for all three increases -- rising energy and construction costs, as well as an expanding community.
In their afternoon workshop, the council received details on a proposed inter-local agreement on a joint Emergency Operations Center. Bryan, College Station, Brazos County and Texas A&M would partner on the project, which would likely be located at the Wimberly building in downtown Bryan.
Details of an agreement still need to be determined, but Brazos County has already agreed to take the lead in the project, which leaders hope to have done by next year's hurricane season.