Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

June 16, 2014

Council gets first look at budget planning process

Corsicana — Streets, code enforcement, the city’s appearance, and public safety topped the list of priorities aired Monday by members of the Corsicana City Council as it met following a joint gathering with county leaders Monday to begin budget planning.

City Manager Connie Standridge asked each council member to share their thoughts ahead of preparation of the city’s spending plan for the coming budget year, and presented them with some preliminary budget numbers and a list of requested capital expenditures.

Standridge said the city expects to end the current budget year “in the black” and with a fund balance $4.86 million — approximately 102 days of operating income, exceeding the amount that is generally recommended by $598,021.

Spending down that extra money in the general fund — should the council decide to do so — could go a couple of different directions. It could either be used to help cover the increased costs of debt for more street construction from the idle bond program, or tackle a number of smaller projects that need attention.

That decision also includes whether to move forward with more elements of the previously approved street bond issue. Standridge said this year, she’ll recommend issuing $4.1 million in long-term debt and $2.7 million in short-term debt to work move forward with improvements on 24th Street, Dobbins Extension, the replacement of culverts on Roane Road, and work on Second Avenue. The bond issue would add 4 cents to the debt tax rate, she told council members.

The project to rebuild 24th Street, a heavily-traveled north/south route through the city, will take at least three years to complete, said Terry Franks, director of public works. The work will be done in sections, Standridge said, and include a lot of utility relocation.

In addition to the major projects, the city would continue to take on smaller projects in each of the city’s four precincts.

Franks was also quizzed about working on South 15th Street — a project he said would cost about $2.6 million to do right, but wouldn’t provide long-lasting results, due to the nature of the soil in the area. Standridge said because the roadway would likely have to be rebuilt in 10 years or less, it would be better funded by cash as opposed to bond money.

The city’s utility department is expected to be in the red when the current budget year ends, and council may have to consider a water rate increase, Standridge said. Water sales are expected to come in almost $700,000 under budget in a fund that was already expected to have a $632,729 deficit, she said. Higher than expected costs for line repair and maintenance and replacement of water meters are also among reasons for the shortfall, Standridge said.

All four council members and Mayor Chuck McClanahan mentioned beautification and enhancing the appearance of the city as things they want to see focus on. Council members asked about how code enforcement is administered and scheduled, and heard about difficulties encountered in trying to enforce some codes, including a law against parking in the front yard of a home. Who to issue the citation to, and having to involve police officers in the process, were cited as “challenges” in trying to enforce the ordinance. Councilman Tom Wilson suggested a possible council “ride-along” with the code enforcement officer to share problem areas that council members have been told about.

Council also heard a list of capital purchase requests that are being considered, but not yet officially requested. Vehicles, equipment, needed upgrades to utility and sanitation department facilities, parks and recreation improvement projects, and public safety requests will be reviewed over the next month before a preliminary budget is presented to council members on July 31, Standridge said.

The council also heard results of a salary survey conducted by the city, comparing starting salaries in Corsicana to a half-dozen similar cities — Athens, Waxahachie, Palestine, Ennis, Greenville and Lancaster.

The survey showed starting salaries of several city positions ranged from 14 percent to as high as 43 percent below similar salary structures in the surveyed towns. Those differences were said to be a key factor hurting the city’s ability to attract and keep new employees, said Pam Gibson, the city human resources director.

“Some of our salaries are below the poverty level,” Standridge said, adding “they can go into the oil fields and make more money.”

Standridge provided information on the cost of salary increases of 1, 2 and 3 percent to council, prompting a discussion of whether or not that was the best approach to the problem.

Wilson suggested every employee should receive the same dollar amount raise, as opposed to a percentage raise, which he said would benefit those with higher salaries more than those on the lower end of the salary scale, who needed it more.

Standridge asked council members to provide her with feedback on the preliminary discussions to aid her in preparing the preliminary budget she’ll present on July 31.


Bob Belcher may be reached by email at

Text Only
Latest News
  • 8-1-14 city council meet.jpg City to raise water, sewer rates

    Water rates, sewer rates and trash rates will all go up for Corsicana city residents, according to preliminary budget figures presented to the city council Thursday afternoon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • City cancels ambulance contract with county

    The City of Corsicana has notified Navarro County officials it is cancelling its agreement with the county to provide EMS ambulance service to areas outside the city limits. According to a letter sent to county officials by Corsicana Mayor Chuck McClanahan, ambulance service to county residents will end on Jan. 31, 2015.

    July 31, 2014

  • 8-1-14 TxDOT.jpg TxDOT work nears completion

    The project to rebuild Seventh Avenue or Highway 31 as it goes through Corsicana is almost over. From an uneven patchwork of paving and pitted concrete, now it’s a smooth ride from Beaton all the way through town.
    It just took an extra year to finish.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31-14 Fire2.jpg Deputies, fire departments have busy weekend

    An attempt to bootleg electricity off a pole using jumper cables is believed to have caused a building fire that took out a former restaurant in Angus Friday morning, one of a series of calls to Navarro County Sheriff’s Office to the southern end of the county over the weekend.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Rice ISD Alex Stough mug.jpg Rice students win UIL scholarships

    Three Rice High School students received UIL scholarships for competing in academic competitions at the state level, according to advisor Alan Lewis.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Collin Main signal.jpg Signal finally fixed

    It took a couple of months to get the parts, but the signal light at Main and Collin streets in downtown Corsicana is finally up and working again.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor from a grim start to 2014 and should show renewed strength into next year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Poll: Americans cool to border-crossing children

    SAN DIEGO — Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.

    July 30, 2014

  • 7-30-14 4-H robotics.jpg Science made simple

    Hats out of old newspaper and leftover wrapping paper, simple robots out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands and pencil erasers, a microcosm of the aquifer made of root beer and ice cream — with a dollop of chocolate syrup. These were among the fun science projects at Tuesday’s 4-H Discovery Days event at the Navarro County Youth Expo.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • County: No increase in city subsidies

    As budget talks continue at the Navarro County Courthouse, one consensus that’s been reached will impact budget planning at the Corsicana Government Center.

    July 29, 2014

AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates