Ahead of their public hearing regarding the 2017-2018 budget set for Sept. 14, the City of Humble council members held a budget workshop with the various department heads Wednesday, Aug. 23.

The upcoming fiscal year for the City of Humble starts Oct. 1, 2017 and ends Sept. 30, 2018. The estimated revenue for the city is $107,389,180 and the estimated expenditures is $84,291,857, for an estimated surplus of $23,097,322. A portion of the surplus is deposited into the city's general fund and saved for future emergencies should the city need additional funds.

"We operate the city with a positive balanced budget with reserve that is needed in case there is an emergency. With the budget, we have budgeted for a decrease in sales tax revenue," Humble City Manager Darrell Boeske said. "The sales tax has decreased an estimated $800,000 and it isn't just because of an increase in online sales; it must be something else and we will look into it."

For each of the different departments, a new fire alarm and intrusion and video surveillance will be installed.

In the Parks Department, the 2017-2018 budget includes installing canopies at the Schott Park Playground and the Uptown Park Playground in an effort to provide more shade to the playgrounds for $50,000 each. Additionally, the budget includes an additional $600,000 to construct the new Parks Department building since they were previously housed in a shed near the Senior Activity Center and the Humble Civic Center.

Security additions to the court building include installing items such as bullet-proof glass, panels and doors, two walk-through metal detectors, and panic buttons, which will all be purchased with monies from the municipal court building security fund.

The Humble Civic Center budget included a retention pond project.

"We discovered that there is actually water below the retention pond, so if we dig a little bit deeper, we can make it a water feature and put an aerator in the water," Boeske said. "We also are looking at installing a generator. The civic center wouldn't be used as a shelter but used for local citizens in case of emergency. We have had past power surges and outages that either destroyed equipment or left people without power or air conditioning during large events."

The budget for the Senior Activity Center includes $2,574,000 for a new building, which includes the $1.2 million carryover of budgeted items from Fiscal Year 2016. Senior activity programs were originally held in the civic center until they were moved to an adjacent building. The Humble Senior Activity Center located on S. Houston Avenue near Will Clayton Parkway was remodeled through a Community Development Block Grant with Harris County for $235,000 around 1997. Since then, there have been a few improvements, but it is time for a complete overhaul of the building. The old building will be razed and the new Humble Senior Activity building will be constructed in its place. While the construction is being completed, activities for seniors will be held at the Civic Center.

Additionally, the city hopes to allocate funds to upgrade the sound system at the Charles Bender Performing Arts Center, purchase two new trucks for the Water Department totaling $120,000, and make improvements to the Humble Museum, such as painting the interior, installing ceramic tile, improving lighting improvements within the building, and repairing the exterior of the building.

Future projects include the Rankin Road outfall and detention project as well as the Rankin Road bridge to ensure monies are earmarked for these two projects although they haven't started the architectural process of the project.

The City of Humble will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed 2017-2018 Fiscal Budget Thursday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. and the budget will be approved at the subsequent regular monthly meeting held immediately after, starting at 6:30 p.m.



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