August 6, 2021, It’s good to know what’s going on!

Posted on August 6, 2021



It’s good to know what’s going on!

The budget and the property tax rate adoption is right around the corner. There is a public hearing on the budget and property tax rate in the next Council Meeting, August 16, 2021, starting at 7:00 pm in the City Hall. You can learn more about what will be discussed by reading the items below.


The City Council is required to establish a not-to-exceed property tax rate and take a record vote. The Council was in session until almost 11 pm discussing the services and service levels that the city should be focusing their resources on moving forward. The items that have been on the top of the list are public safety, streets, water, and wastewater. The Council voted 3-to-1 in favor of establishing the “de minimis” tax rate, which generates an additional $500,000 of property tax revenue. The record vote included Mayor Pro Tem Mickey Malone, Councilman John Taylor, and Councilwoman Cindy Poe voting in favor of the de minimis rate, with Councilman Steve Misner voting in opposition, and Councilwoman Julie Burger being absent from the meeting.

The maximum rate that could be adopted is just over $0.66 per $100 valuation. This is not the tax rate but a rate that may not be exceeded when voted on in one of the next two Council meetings.

Read below for more information on the budget.

Streets Improvement Update – staff has been in constant communication with our contractor and has received a start date of August 16, 2021. We are excited to get this project started and improving the streets that are in need of some love and attention.

Financial News

Transportation Impact Fees – Our engineering firm was contracted to complete this process and the staff and Council were using the timeline and agenda language provided to the city for agenda preparation. We completed a 30-day public notification for the imposition of transportation impact fees but were not provided the 30-day notification language for the adoption of the impact fees. The public notification has been put into the newspaper and the item added to an agenda in September for the Council to consider and act upon. A resident pointed this out to us and we want to thank him, Matt Spaethe, for helping us to identify this error so that we can correct this before the fee schedule was updated and adopted.

Further, there was a technical glitch in our city website. The agenda was posted around 4:30 on Friday and then updated shortly thereafter to reflect a change in the order of items as well as add the two items, once we received the language from our engineering consultant. The technical glitch occurred when we reuploaded the agenda PDF file with the same name, the website did not replace the file. If you click on the packet link you will see the agenda that was used during the meeting.

After the meeting, staff reached out to our City Attorney to ask about this technical glitch and this was the response: “Since NF maintains a website, it has to post notice of the meeting on its website. LGC 551.056 (b)(1). However, NF, with a population of less than 48,000, does not have to post the meeting agenda on the website. LGC 551.056 (c)(1). Based on the facts you presented me, I don’t see a need for NF to act again on the actions added to the agenda that timely posted on the physical bulletin board. That is the extent of NFs legal obligation under the open meetings act. Though it would have been preferable to have the agenda timely posted to the website as well, the failure to do so is not fatal to the actions taken under the timely posted physical agenda. Although not applicable here, the statute has a “get out of jail free card” if there was a good faith attempt to get something posted electronically but were unable to do so as the result of a technical problem beyond the control of the NF. LGC 551.056 (d).”

We will always do our best to make sure that accurate information is posted in a timely fashion and are anxiously waiting for our updated website so that we can avoid some of these technical glitches.

Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Annual Budget – the City Council is required to adopt an annual maintenance and operating (M&O) and interest and sinking fund (I&S) budget followed by the adoption of a property tax rate that supports that budget. Recent legislative action, SB2, limited the annual increase in revenues collected from property taxes to no more than three-and-one-half percent (3.5%) annual increase, excluding new improvements, and established the no-new-revenue-rate, voter approval rate, and de minimis rate for cities with a population of less than 30,000.

According to SB2, if the rate adopted exceeds the no-new-revenue-rate, but is less than the voter-approval rate, then it will not trigger an election in November. If the adopted rate is greater than the voter-approval rate, then it triggers an election in November for voter ratification unless they are a small city. Small cities may adopt the de minimis rate, which literally means, “too trivial or minor to merit consideration.” The de minimis rate allows cities to increase their tax rate to a level that raises an additional $500,000 in revenue without triggering an election in November.

The image below shows the no-new-revenue, voter approval, and de minimis rates, as well as the annual revenue generated by each penny of property tax, $17,884.

Each year, the Council is required to hold a record vote to set a “not to exceed” property tax rate and set a public hearing date and time for the operating budget. This does not raise the taxes, but sets a ceiling on the property tax rate that can be considered following the public hearing.

The Council has spent months discussing the current services in new Fairview as well as the service level that is being provided. During this time, there were several items that have risen to the top as priorities for the Council as well as the citizens, according to the recently completed Citizen Satisfaction Survey, including public safety, streets, and water/wastewater services.

Revenues in the fiscal year 2021-2022 increased approximately $420,000, primarily due to implementing commercial safety inspections (estimated at $240,000), increased sales and use taxes ($150,000 from the concrete batch plant), and new and increased property values, including $20 million in Denton County and $1.5 million in Wise County; while existing values in both Denton and Wise climbed $17 million, increasing the City’s property tax revenues by approximately $40,000 due to the property tax reduction sales tax adjustment.

Expenditures in the fiscal year 2021-2022 increased approximately $520,000 when removing the $300,000 in capital expenditures from the prior year. This is primarily due to the transition of a contract worker to a new full-time employee that will act as a part-time code enforcement trainee, streets maintenance, and our septic inspector as well as the contract renewal for the City Administrator ($103,000); an increase in contract labor costs primarily related to a streets maintenance helpers to increase efficiency and effectiveness ($60,000); supplies and services increased due to public safety expenditures related to the commercial safety inspection (offset by additional revenues from the inspections), FD recruitment and training, emergency vehicle exit, streets maintenance materials, etc. ($260,000), and capital expenditures related to the purchase of street maintenance equipment, including a hotbox and crack sealer ($122,000).

Council News

The Council approved a resolution and directed staff to submit an application to the United States Postal Service seeking a unique zip code for the City of New Fairview. There are a number of communities that have been successful in obtaining a new zip code or at least adding their city to the USPS database so that the address can be verified.

The Council approved an electronic signature policy and adopted a resolution authorizing the use of electronic signatures in the daily business activities of the City. This will improve our efficiency and effectiveness at producing documents more quickly and being more transparent in our activities.

The Council directed staff to bring back an amendment to the Grass and Weed Ordinance that adds grass and hay to the exempted crops governed by the twelve-inch rule. Staff will update the ordinance and bring it back for consideration at a future Council meeting.

The Council has directed staff to add three-year term limits to the upcoming November election. This will allow for the Council to have at most two seats open in any given election year and provide continuity of leadership as Council members enter and leave over time.

The Council directed staff to come up with cost-effective plans for utilization of the property at City Hall, including shade structures, picnic tables, gravel surfaces, and sports fields. Staff will present options and budget estimates to the Council at a future meeting for consideration.

The Council directed staff to explore the possibility of partnering with the University of North Texas to complete a comprehensive plan for the city. The estimated cost, $30,000 to $45,000 is an 80% savings over the cost paid to consultants for similar plans and work products. Staff will be seeking community leaders from all areas of the city to participate in this process to ensure an inclusive and stakeholder-driven process. If you are interested in volunteering, please reach out to


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