Monday afternoon, marked the first day of budget work sessions for the Lubbock City Council as the council works on the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget.

Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope noted this is the 13th budget he is working on in his political career. He said that the heavy-lifting for the budget needs to be undertaken in the work sessions, rather than during the council meetings themselves.

"We have learned over the last three years, that if we're [the city council] willing to give that feedback (during work sessions), the sooner we give that feedback to staff, the quicker they can reply to us," Mayor Pope said.

The mayor continued, "Some of you have been on a council, or a board, where a lot of the final budget work was done from the dais. This will be my 13th lap where I have been doing a budget for a public entity. That's not the best way to do it. It needs to be done with the 'committee of the whole', with all of the great staff we have to support us."

City of Lubbock

City staff is proposing a one cent property tax rate increase to $0.55802 per $100 dollar valuation. With the average taxable home value in Lubbock at $152,782, the total property tax increase would be an additional $45.72, for a property tax bill of $852.55.

City of Lubbock

Mayor Pope had one brief comment concerning the proposed property tax rate increase for the average homeowner in Lubbock. He said it broke down to, "A little less than $4 a month." City Manager Jarrett Atkinson replied in the affirmative.

Additional highlights for the proposed budget: providing funding to hire 12 additional police officers for the Lubbock Police Department, add two new fire fighter instruction positions for the Lubbock Fire Department, hire a new assistant director of public works, and provide $10 million in funding for street maintenance;  the current street maintenance budget is at $8.5 million.

Additional Lubbock City Council budget work sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, July 30; Wednesday, July 31; and Thursday, August 1 at 3:30pm each day. The city council will be able to provide feedback to City Manager Jarrett Atkinson during each work session.

The Lubbock City Council is expected to vote on the budget during upcoming August and September council meetings.