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Victoria City Council is reviewing a proposed $6.7 million increase to its budget for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year.

The City Council conducted a public hearing Tuesday to allow residents and council members to comment about the proposed tax rate and budget.

The proposed budget of $139,556,785 budget is up $6,664,406 from the city’s current budget of $132,892,379. The budget funds numerous critical departments, including the police and fire departments, public works and environmental services.

Of the proposed $6.7 million increase to the budget, the majority, about $4.5 million, will go to the city’s capital projects funds.

The proposed tax rate for the 2020 fiscal year is 61.15 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, down from the current rate of 62.24 per $100 of assessed valuation. There was no comment by residents and little discussion about either the proposed budget or the tax rate Tuesday.

The next public hearing for the proposed budget and tax rate is scheduled during the council’s regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday. A final version of the budget and tax rate will be adopted later in September before the fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Also Tuesday, the Victoria City Council heard a presentation from David Yanke, a managing director of environmental practice with NewGen Strategies & Solutions.

The city’s contract for commercial solid waste collection and disposal with Waste Management is set to expire in 2021. Darryl Lesak, the city’s director of environmental services, said the contract has been in place since 1991.

In mid-2018, city staff discussed looking into the viability of taking over commercial services within the city, Lesak said Tuesday. In January 2019, the council approved a contract with NewGen Strategies & Solutions to study the possibility of the city providing commercial containerized services.

At the end of the presentation Tuesday, Lesak recommended that city staff move forward with considering the change, which the study determined would likely be more financially favorable for the city, and begin requesting bids for the work.

Morgan Theophil covers local government for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6511, mtheophil@vicad.com or on Twitter.

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