ESD Board adopts tax rate, budget

By KATE LUDLOW

The Williamson County Emergency Services District #4 Board of Commissioners on Monday unanimously approved a $1,343,863 budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Commissioner Dana Ripley was absent from the meeting, where the Board also voted to maintain a tax rate of $0.10 per $100 property valuation, the highest tax rate allowed by state law.

Of that $0.10 tax rate, $0.089421 goes to the Maintenance and Operations Fund, and $0.010579 goes to debt service.

Another $103,455 was approved to be moved out of a money market account into the debt reduction account, to help reduce the amount of interest on some items including a $29,998.86 Spartan pumper truck, the final payment on a radio lease agreement ($10,812.97), four mobile data computers for apparatus ($25,196), an extractor/dryer for PPE cleaning ($15,448), and 12 sets of bunker gear ($22,000). That move leaves $724,786 in the money market account.

At press time Wednesday, Chief Mark McAdams was unable to release a copy of the final budget, explaining that five budget amendments needed to be included.

The Board met in Executive Session for nearly two hours to discuss personnel issues, but came back with no changes, or public comments about that discussion.

The Board also heard from Chief McAdams, who presented his monthly Fire Chief’s report. In the past month, firefighters responded to an average 76 incidents, though Chief McAdams acknowledges that that number could be off due to a computer server change that took place this month.

The average response time was 7:20, and fire personnel performed four inspections — one at a day care center, and three annual inspections.

Chief McAdams also said his department is gearing up for National Fire Prevention month, in October. Firefighters from the department will be reaching out to Liberty Hill schools and local day care centers, using their special puppet trailer.

Commissioners will hold their next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28.