Brownwood City Council members gave final approval Tuesday to ordinances setting the property tax rate and utility rates for the 2007-’08 fiscal year.

Council members approved the rates on first readings on Sept. 11.

The council approved a property tax rate of 74.52 cents per $100 valuation, a 5.7 percent reduction from the current rate of 78.99 cents.

City Finance Director Walter Middleton told council members on Sept. 11 that the average taxable value of a Brownwood home increased by 3 percent, from $64,274 to $66,223, and the property tax bill on an average home will decrease from $508 a year to $493 with the new rate.

Increases in water, sewer and sanitation rates will increase the average residential account by $4.78 a month — $3.30 for the water rates, 72 cents for the sewer rates and 76 cents for the sanitation rates, Middleton told the council.

The increases in the sanitation and sewer rates are needed to cover the increased costs of fuel, parts and material, Middleton said. He said the increases in the water rates are needed to cover an increase in the costs of treated water from the Brown County Water Improvement District and to fund increased bond payments for water district improvements.

In other business Tuesday, the council:

Approved a one-reading ordinance setting civil service employee salary and position upgrades for the police and fire departments.

The positions and monthly salaries for the fire department are:

Assistant chief — $4,134

Captain (three) — $3,704

Lieutenant (three) — $3,362

Fire driver (nine) — $3,008

Firefighters (15)

Step 3 (three or more years experience) — $2,696

Step 2 (more than one but less than three years experience) — $2,510

Step 1 (no more than one year) — $2,214

The positions and monthly salaries for the police department are:

Lieutenant (two) — $3,753

Sergeant (five) — $3,179

Corporal (four) — $2,871

Patrolmen (25)

Step 2 (one or more years experience) — $2,717

Step 1 (less than one year experience) — $2,505

Authorized a capital lease for technology improvements at the city’s depository for $121,400 over five years. Agreed to purchase Kronos Time Management software for $42,894. The software will nearly most of the 60 hours a month supervisors and managers spend manually calculating time card information, council members were told. Authorized the mayor’s signature on the the 2007-’08 Routine Airport Maintenance Program grant between the City of Brownwood and the Texas Department of Transportation Aviation Division. The city’s portion of the 50-50 grant is $50,000. Authorized a budget amendment for the purchase of a pneumatic roller for the street department for $59,160 from Yellowhouse Machinery. Appointed council members Jerry DeHay and H.D. Jones to a committee to serve as a liaison with the Greenleaf Cemetery Association.