By Tony Farkas
SHEPHERD — The Shepherd City Council gave its blessing to the next budget, which contains funds for exploring the creation of a police department.
At its regular meeting on Sept. 12, the council passed a budget with general fund expenses of $711,000 and revenues of $712,000.
Additionally, council members approved a tax rate designed not to generate any new revenue. The new rate is 0.17674, or 17.674 cents per $100 of property valuation, down from 20.14 cents from last year’s budget.
City Clerk Debra Hagler said the city is looking into a police department.
“It’s not started, but we’re in the exploration stage,” she said. “The city feels that it’s time to get extra police coverage.”
Funds for a police department would come from grants, and amount to $180,000.
As part of the budget, the utility fund expenses were set $968,000; up slightly from last year expenses due to the city project of installing new water meters.
Also, the $115,000 Economic Development Council budget was passed.
In other business, the council:
•tabled a measure to install signs in the Cherry Creek subdivision;
•tabled a decision on a request by Guendy Overturff to create a parking area on Knighton;
•took no action on several variance requests for lack of representation;
•approved a variance for a manufactured home for Rolondria Web on Seals Avenue;
•approved an ordinance denying rate increase request by Entergy;
•contracted for water assistance program Great East Texas Community Action Program’s water assistance, which provides funds for qualified residents; and
•approved an audit on FY 2021.