Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

January 24, 2013

Moving forward

City manager delivers state of the city address for Joshua

 

Wednesday’s Joshua Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon focused on the gains made over the last year, as well as ideas for the future. 

Joshua City Manager Paulette Hartman delivered a “state of the city” for the 40-plus chamber members and guests in attendance. 

Hartman, who has been with the city for six years, said big things are on the horizon for Joshua. 

“We’ve been very fortunate here in Joshua with the economy,” she said. “Even in recent years with the downturn we fared well.” 

According to records, the city’s sales tax revenue is up 25 percent over the same time last year. Fiscal Year 2012 ended at 8 percent higher than FY 2011, Hartman said. 

Though residential and commercial permits remained flat in 2011-12, certified property values have jumped 6 percent since July. 

“Our goal is to build up on economic development and add more sales tax to keep property tax low,” she said. 

When Hartman joined the city in 2007, property taxes accounted for 51 percent of city revenue. Today it is 47 percent of total revenue, an anticipated $3,335,475. 

“We have the third-lowest tax rate of area cities,” Hartman said. “The goal of the city council is to keep that as low as possible.” 

The average homeowner spends about $857 annually on property tax or $71 a month, she said. 

Major accomplishments over the last several years include the completion of all but one bond project, which is the Mountain Valley drainage project that will go to bid this summer. 

The new fire department, also part of the 2009 bond project, is nearing completion. Firefighters are expected to move in early next week. A formal open house is from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 28.

The YMCA groundbreaking is at 3 p.m. Feb. 4 behind the new Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy on Texas 174, which opens at 10 a.m. Feb. 13.

The recreation center will be built using about $5 million from certifications of obligation, whereafter YMCA will maintain and operate the facility. 

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