Audio from Somervell County Water District Board Meeting August 9 2010 Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Audio from Somervell County Water District Board Meeting August 9 2010

11 August 2010 at 10:56:48 AM

From the SCWD.US site. Quick note that it is completely great to be able to go up to the water district site and find the audio. Kathy Brown always puts up minutes to add to that at some point-you can, for example, go back ot the month before and see minutes, audio and check registers. At least for me, the meeing is at the same time or overlaps the City of Glen Rose meeting and I'd like to hear both. So it's wonderful to so quickly find the audio on the website. That happens, of course, because the water district has a digital audio recorder so it's convenient and quick for them.

Here's the link to the audio

Rough transcript-if there is any question about what was said, refer to the audio.

1st on agenda is minutes.

Gosdin dozer 120,000 pay request asking for 155,000- our architect and engineer hasn't finalled that out until Hugh Welch comes through and finals it out. I'd like approval both for 120,000 and the retainer when it comes due. Walkthrough scheduled for Wednesday morning. Hugh Smith-I take it you want a conditional motion.

Barr Construction 344,000 pump station on left and a ground storage tank. Only 2 projects? Taylor, they have some smaller projects where we hit all the citys ground storage, tie-ins. Drake-have they started doing tie-ins yet? Doing a little probing out there.

Freese & Nichols monthly bill

Wells Farg0-debt service on our water development loan.

Drake-motion to approve all invoices, Gosdin's dependent on engineer's portion.

Budget and proposed tax rate.

Wes Rollin -chief appraiser. Kevin Taylor-  Last year's tax rate was 12.53. This year's rate proposed is 12.46, a little lower, trying to keep the same revenue as we raised last year. Something that happened this year is the average appraised value has increased a little over 10 thousand dollars. Average tax on a home is 134.70, this year will 144.46 increas of 9.76 on average house, increase of 7.2 percent. Appears like we're having an increase in our tax when we're not. Revenue will stay the same but value of average homestead increased. Hugh Smith-all us brilliant people at this table understand it but the general public- less than one percent understand or even want to understand it. Drake-what happens if we keep it to the same revenue? That's exactly what I've done (Taylor). Raises the individual tax but why would it not increase the totel... Wes explains.

Wes-not a true increase in appraised value. Hugh -you mean the public is giong to see this as a phantom increase, but it's not going to come out of their paycheck. Average person will see an increase in their water district tax. They will see tht increase because their home value was held down arficially due to 10 percent rule. Eveyrone has an effective rate off total taxable value. Our total taxable value this year went up less than 2 percent. But the water district figures your roll back rate, which is the amount you can go you can go below, don't have a miniumu like every one does. Homestead cap-protects you in case there's a real quick increase in the market- if it jumps, the value can only go up 10 percent a year. What you're going to see for the next couple of years unless market falls and neutralizes, is a 10 percent increase in value each year. You as a taxpayer that just has a house and lives here, your value will increase at 10 percent until it evens out. If land values dip, all vacant land, went down throughout hte county. Everyone's property went down except homeowner land, which is the only thing the water district looks at. County doing the exact same thing, went down on their rate, county got an increase in their overall value, all will have to publish a notice that their rate is staying the same. But the water district has a state requirement, homeowners will get a dollar increase. Taxable value the amount you pay taxes on will increase until it matches market value. That's becuase of the 10 percent cap. That's why taxable values continue to increase. (?) we were way behind on taxable value, so they've been raised. If your appraisal value hsan't changed? Your taxable appraisal value HAS changed. Only time that that number stays the same. Can't forget that while the state forces us to look at that, 85 percent of our value is not homestead. People who have homesteads are the ones that will be paying the price, the penalty, whatever. But they are also getting 4 million of operation, Drake-but so are the people who just have open land. Hugh-they're going to see this as a tax increase, pure and simple.

Wes-overall our value increased 20 million dollars and I brought out tax rate down to offset the 20 million increase. We're staying revenue neutral. We're not going to bring in any more money than we brought in last year. Small percentage that beat the average, most are well below. Drake- more people and more houses to take less of a hit. ? Not necessarily. 85 percent will not have to pay more taxes because their value will not have gone up, the benefit of that tax cap, the land people got the full hit all at one time, not spread out like the homeowners. Fixing to be a non-issue. Problem is that it will be an issue when it appears in the paper, most people will see this as a tax increase, even thought it's not that much money. Hugh Smith-I anticipate I will get a lot of questions/accusations and I ahve memorized Wes's telephone number.

Would be nice to have something we can hand out. We have flyers in our office (SCAD) not a good explanation, it's from the state. Smith-any way to turn this into a good layman's explanation. Wes. No. Market value went down while their taxable value when up, makes no sense to people. Smith-we were behind so many years. Soon the problem will be gone, hopefully there will not be a next time. Most people don't want to understand it, hard enough to understand anyway. We can say we are tax neutral and it is correct. Drake-talk to Wes. Smith-they need to go talk to Texas Congress. Nothing to do with reality, it's just the way it works. Smith-that was a great explanation-fortunately, I graduated form college. Water District only considers homesteads, doesn't affect anything but your rate. What is thinking behind only dealing with houses? Gotta be that water's only for the people in the houses. w'ere so unique as a county. Taylor-if we had the same method of affecitng the rate as the county did, that percentage of increase would be zero, if we took ALL of our tax base in consideration. If power plant drops in value, cost of energy continues to go down, loss of revenue. If we go to war with Iran, it will change.

Taylor-we're only proposing this rate today, if we get a lot of backlash, we can change it, but it will affect ourbusiness model. Just locked in 20 millions dollars worth of debt based on this revenue stream. Once we lower the rate, very difficult to get it back. Smith-go ahead and pay the 9 dollars because to get a lawyer will cost you 900.  We're pretty much stuck with it. Taylor-hopefully the newspaper will do an article on all the entities and what they're doing, and may get an explanation in the newspaper. Drake- maybe Kathryn can explain it. Smith-the longer your explanation the worse trouble you get in.

I'm rpretty sure we said tax rate will not increase, our intent was that the revenue woulnd't increase. Neither one.

Loolking back at those drugs and thinking I could use some. That whole sheet goes in the paper. The tax rate actually went down,and that Wes, ... we appreciate you, bud. Smith-=all they're going to know is they will see an increase in taxes. I'm gonna say go talk to Wes. ?Well, that's 2 of us working together. Smith-the target is on you (Wes).

Budget. General fund- you'll see all revenues and expenditures. We've split our tax rate into 2 rates. Proposing some parks and recs. Projecte revenues and expenditures.

Freese & Nichols- difference between what they did verus what the water district wants. *Pretty* versus functional. I don't buy the fact that they say it's a cosmetic thing. Once there's a drain in there will take that stuff away. I understand about wanting to keep it clean but a lot of the engineering for how much flow and flushing and when we get a big flood, it's gonna flush it out pretty good.

It'll be a year and then we'll be in the water business, we need a service vehicle. Distribution supervisor responsible for crews that are going out setting meters, hopefully that will be one of the inspectors we are hiring.

 Spent 10-15 thousand this year keeping it full. $20,000 for next year to keep it full. 

Pad site for pavilion. Part of Gosdin's contract was to level it off.

Convo about debt service.What do you do with excess money? We didn't just want to put it into reserve. In case Luminant tanks and one of our major customers can't pay bill, we have a little bit of contingency. Taylor-we're putting in some very expensive pieces of equipment. Set up maintainance trust so that 10 years from now if we have go down, we can replace with interest made off this trust. All our jobs came in so cheap due to the economy being so bad. 

sEpt 13- tax hearing. Accept the budgets as printed and adopt them.

Stats from Squaw Creek- 24 percent from Granbury, 7 percent from Glen Rose, majority coming from outside. Luminant charges quite a bit to go fish at Squaw Creek. Di

Didn't have a whole lot of folks coming out. Don't think it was so much the price as it is the weather is miserable. Not a whole lot of people so far. Shade is on the way. Poured 10 picnic sites, will have metal awnings for all. How about planting some trees? Stil have money in the budget for trees. Not going to plant the juniper, are you? Planted cypress treees, have done really well. Keeping a visitor's log? Greg Marsh was the very first customer, brought his kayak out and did a couple of laps around the lake. 9 till 8 open right now. Today sat out all day from noon till 7 didn't see a soul.  Going to put an antenna on the building so that the guards can be on the internet.

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