OYSTER CREEK — Oyster Creek City Council moved to unanimously pass the city’s property tax rate and budget for this upcoming fiscal year, according to city officials.

Despite the heavy rainfall from the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda, all council members were present at the regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, Financial Director Lanita Chitwood said.

The tax rate that has been approved for fiscal year 2019-20, which begins Oct. 1, is 29.3 cents per $100 of appraised property value. It is equal to the city’s effective tax rate, meaning it will generate the same amount of revenue as the current year from property on the tax rolls both years, according to city officials.

The budget includes an increase in water and sewage service fees. Residents can expect an increase of from $28.13 to $30.57 on bills based on 2,000-gallon usage, according to the city.

Minimum water bills for commercial properties will increase from $46.86 to $63.98, based on 5,000-gallon usage.

Originally, Mayor Justin Mills wanted to decrease the tax rate to offset the higher water fees. He was satisfied with the effective rate because it would not raise taxes across the board, he said.

The 2019-20 budget includes some major projects that the city is rexcited about, Chitwood said.

City officials plan to clear reeds from Oyster Creek and place bulkheads to keep the reeds from growing back.

The city expects the project to make the creek look better and create a good area for fishing.

The city will begin taking bids on the work when the new fiscal year begins, Chitwood said.

Another project in the approved budget is construction of entrance signs on the north and south sides of town. The city still needs to obtain ownership over a piece of land for one of the signs.

This is exciting for Oyster Creek because the city has never had a nice entrance sign, Chitwood said.

Both of the projects are budgeted at $250,000 each, Chitwood said.

Lyndsey Privett is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0149.

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