The 2016-17 tax rate and budget were approved in the Monday, Sept. 12 meeting of the Mission City Council. The tax rate was set at $0.4962, which is slightly lower than last year’s rate of $0.4988 per $100 valuation. The new rate includes $0.4404 for maintenance and operations and $0.0558 for debt service.
Based on those figures the budget was figured at $115.9 million. This includes a $49.4 million budget for the General Fund and $26.5 million for the Utility Department. The Golf Course budget was set at $1.2 million while the Capital Golf Course fund was $64,000. The solid waste budget amounted to $6 million. The special revenues budget amounted to $10 million while the capital projects fund budget amounted to $14 million. Group health insurance was $3.8 million and debt service was $4.8 million.
The budget for the Mission Economic Development Corporation amounted to $5.7 million, while the budget for the Mission Economic Development Authority was set at $235,200. The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce was given a budget of $370,000.
The budget for Mission Fire Department and Mission Police Department civil service employees was approved by the council. While Mission’s civil service employees have received a total of a 10 percent increase over the past three years, this year the city council decided to provide no pay increases for civil service. Instead, a six percent across-the-board pay raise was given to civilian employees who have not receives raises in the past three years.
The budget for civil service workers includes 67 positions for Mission firemen – the same as last year. Salaries start at $25,000 for firefighter cadets; entry level firefighters, $37,000; firefighters after probation, $42,048; drivers and apparatus engineers, $43,902; lieutenants, $46,380 and fire inspectors, $46,380. Assistant fire marshal and captains receive $51,197 while Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Marshal salaries were set at $57,220. The fire chiefs’s salary was not given as it is non-civil service.
In addition, firemen receive longevity pay of $60 per year up to a maximum of $1200. Seniority pay ranges from $2500 annually, for firemen with three to four years with the city, to $15,000 for those with 19 years or more. Those with intermediate certification will receive an additional $2000, while those with advanced certification will receive an additional $3000.
Councilman Armando O’cana asked about providing an additional pay incentive level for firemen with a master’s certification, but Jesse Lerma, director of Civil Service said this year’s budget was already set, so that could be considered next year. Currently only one person has the masters certification.
Firemen with college credits receive anywhere from $400 for 30 credits to $1600 for those with a bachelor’s degree.
Those with special assignments such as Dive, Haz-Mat, fire prevention or law may receive $1500. The Fire Prevention Training position earns an extra $4000 annually.
The city council also approved the 2016-17 pay schedule for the Police Department, adopting the same schedule as last year with no increases.
The City of Mission currently has 149 police positions – the same as last year – including four lieutenants, eight sergeants, nine corporals and 125 patrolmen. There are two assistant chiefs and one Chief of Police. Salaries include police cadets starting at $25,000, entry level officers, $40,000; police officers after probation, $45,458.
Police corporals earn $50,003 while police sergeants receive $53,980. Police lieutenants earn $57,958. Longevity pay is $70 for every year of service up to a maximum of $1200 per year. Seniority pay ranges from $2500, for those with the department three to four years, to $15,000 for those with the department 19 years or longer.
Policemen with Intermediate TCLEOSE certification will receive $900 annually while those with Advanced TCLEOSE Certification will receive $1500. A Masters TCLEOSE Certification will earn $2400.
Education pay for police ranges from $800 for 30 hours to $2400 for a bachelors degree.
Additions for special positions, such as evidence technician, computer technician, Crime Stoppers, and criminal investigator, are also provided.
New Police Station Planned
In other action, the city accepted a donation from ML Rhodes LTD of 3.3 acres of land to be used for a new police or fire substation to be located in the southwest section of the city. The parcel donated is at the Northwest corner of Military Parkway and Breyfogle (Schuerbach) Road.
Under board appointments Dr. Charles Ike Austin and Dora Femat de la Garza were appointed to the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Advisory Board to replace Eddie Olivarez and Charlie Leal.
Under police matters, Chief Robert Dominguez was authorized to accept he 2017 STEP grant for $62,820. There is a $22,678 match that will come from police funds. The grant is or overtime for seat belt checks, DWI arrests and speed enforcement.
JAX construction was awarded the bid for restroom construction at the Arnulfo “Tatan” Rodriguez Park in the amount of $39,800.
Central Fence was given the bid for replacement of security fencing at the central police station in the amount of $3487.
Hollis Rutledge received two contracts for consulting and grant writing services on behalf of the city and the Police Department in the amount of $30,000 each for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2017.