Primera mayor talks city budget, capital projects

PRIMERA — As the city grows, Mayor David Kusch is leading the city to attract business and home owners to Primera. He’s looked at the budget and found revenue to cover the expenses to undertake major projects this fiscal year.

We sat down to talk with Kusch about the budget and here is what he had to say.

VMS: How do you feel about this year’s proposed budget?

Kusch: I think it took a lot of due diligence. I’m pleased with the budget. We are fortunate enough we did not have to raise taxes at all. We kept the same rate and thanks to the growth of the city our revenues will increase by about $44,000 over and above last year without any tax increase. We have taken into consideration a number of projects we have budgeted for this year.

VMS: How do you feel about the budget comparing it to the city growth?

Kusch: I would say it’s proportional. We have tried to be good stewards and tried our best to protect our reserves. All in all, I’d say I’m happy.

VMS: You were able to keep the tax rate the same so the budget didn’t affect any of the Primera home owners or citizens?

Kusch: We don’t do the assessment of their property. That is a county function. We did not raise the rate of their taxes. Nobody wants to see their taxes go up. The additional funds we are showing here of about $8,000 are as a result of an increase in appraised value. The money will help for operational expense and for debt services. In general, any increase in income is good for the city.

VMS: Anything you want to point out about the budget?

Kusch: We will begin working on our water tower. With the increase in population it was time for it to be upgraded. Some of the pumps will be replaced or repaired. This is to ensure we maintain the proper water pressure for the citizens. This money comes from the reserve fund. We hope to start in the next 10 days and the scheduled completion is February 2018. The repairs are going to cost $294,200.

VMS: What are some other big projects you’ll be working on?

Kusch: We will be going out for bids on a new hike and bike trail. Part of the funding is from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation and we are kicking in about $150,000. It’s going to start in front of City Hall and go north on Stuart Place Road. People will have a nice environment to walk. The trail will be 1.2 miles and it will connect to the park. The people will have quite an extensive walking trail. It will be complete with solar lighting for people to walk early in the morning or at night after it cools off. And that will be an additional safety feature.

At a glance

Overall, the general fund shows an increase compared to last year’s budget.

– 2017-18 General Fund Budget: $3,384,670

– 2016 -17 General Fund Budget: $2,965,484

Capital improvement projects and costs

– North Stuart Place road $560,000

– Borchardt Avenue $50,000

– Park Improvement $400,000

– Carver Road Street Improvement $442,370

– Primera Hike and Bike Trail $650,000