The Prosper Town Council discussed proposed changes to the town’s budget during a special meeting that took place July 11 at the Prosper Municipal Chambers.
The meeting was called as a follow up to budget discussions that occurred in January.
“We have new council members that have joined, so we want to give them the chance to weigh in,” Town Manager Harlan Jefferson said.
The proposed budget will be reviewed again in August after the property tax rate has been confirmed and will go into effect on Oct. 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.
City water rates will increase by $10.99 a month for residential users who consume 10,000 gallons of water per month and $14.58 a month for those consuming 15,000 gallons per month. The average usage rate for residents of Prosper is 12,000 gallons per month.
For commercial users, the increase in cost will be $29.49 each month for those consuming 20,000 gallons per month.
The rate increases are part of a three-year plan in which water rates will see increases again for each of the next two years.
The town of Prosper receives its water supply from the North Texas Municipal Water District, as well as the Upper Trinity River Water District. North Texas has increased its rates by 10 percent, and Upper Trinity has increased by three percent. The town is making efforts to maximize its usage of Upper Trinity’s supplies due to the lower costs.
On average, 800 new utility accounts are opened with the town of Prosper each year. Between 2014 and 2017, Prosper saw a 15.3 percent increase in growth. The projected increase in growth from 2018 through 2022 is 8.5 percent. Despite increases in demand, Prosper has not raised water rates since 2012.
Water and sewage service charges are predicted to total $16.9 million in 2018 and make up 31 percent of the town’s projected revenue.
On July 25, Prosper will receive a certified tax roll from Collin County, which it will then use to determine property taxes for the upcoming fiscal year. The town’s financial department is predicting a 15 percent increase in property values from 2017 to 2018. This is lower than the 22 percent increase seen from 2016 to 2017.
The town anticipates a total of $20.6 million in revenue from property taxes for 2018, which accounts for 38 percent of the town’s projected total revenue.
Kent Bauer, emergency management coordinator for Prosper, also discussed federal grant opportunities that the town has applied for.
Following Hurricane Harvey, the federal government released mitigation funds of $1 billion to the state of Texas for projects that deter any sort of hazard. These funds are available to any municipality within the state.
Prosper has proposed projects to expand the culverts in downtown in order to reduce flooding, as well as adding warning sirens to fill the gaps currently present within the town.
“The goal is to have 100 percent coverage for all of our current and future residents,” said Bauer.
There are also proposed projects to control flooding in Frontier Park, as well as to acquire a floodplain that lays behind Prestonwood Church near the park. The total cost for all of the projects amounts to $10.9 million, of which the town would pay nothing.
The projects have received letters of approval from U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson and Texas State Representative Scott Sanford. The state will make a decision on the proposals beginning in December.
“We’re really trying to do some good to make improvements for Prosper and its residents,” said Bauer.