The Early City Council approved ordinances to adopt a 2017-18 fiscal year budget and new lower property tax rate during its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday evening at Early City Hall.   

City administrator Tony Aaron gave a brief summary of the budget during the public hearing portion of the meeting before the vote was taken. The city’s tax rate will drop to 55.1 cents per $100 valuation for the year.   

Aaron said there are minor changes since the last budget workshops, some because the bidding on the upcoming Visitor’s and Event Center came in slightly higher than expected. The budget projects an ending fund balance of $548,430.   

The council also approved Resolution 2017-13, which will lower rates for sanitation services from $40 to $30 a month for customers living just outside the Early city limits. “Traditionally, it was two times the rate of inside the city limits,” Aaron said. “At this point, we probably have less than 10 outside the city customers, so it’s not a big financial impact to our budget.”   

He said the city may explore ways to gain more sanitation customers in the future.   

During the meeting the council also voted to:    

•    Approve Resolution 2017-CV08, adopting the Convention and Visitors Bureau 2017-18 fiscal year budget.   

•    Appoint three board members to the Planning and Zoning Commission.   

•    Appoint two board members to the Municipal Development District. Early police chief David Mercer will continue his tenure on the MDD board.   

•    Approve resolution 2017-EDR07, a Municipal Development grant application of $15,000 for Bishop Distributing.   

•    Approve road closures for the Early Homecoming parade on Sept. 27. Sudderth and Sunrise drives will be temporarily closed that day.   

•    Approve a variance request for an Early Homecoming bonfire.   

•    Approve Resolution 2017-R13, a $348,223 loan for the purchase of a new sanitation truck.   

The council met in executive session to conclude the meeting.   

Mercer gave a brief presentation about National Night Out at the beginning of the meeting. This year’s National Night Out event will occur on Tuesday, Oct. 3. It is an annual community-building campaign that encourages cooperation between neighbors and police to prevent crime. Those interested in hosting a National Night Out block party can get more information at the Early Chamber of Commerce, the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce of the Early Police Department.