Brenham’s City Council is exploring ways to build a new Animal Shelter and renovate and expand the Library without raising city taxes.

During a workshop session at City Hall this (Thursday) morning, City Manager Terry Roberts outlined ways of financing through public / private partnerships for both the Animal Shelter and the Nancy Carol Roberts Memorial Library.  Roberts said they are projecting the cost of a new animal shelter to be $2 million, and the renovation and expansion of the library to be $3 million.  Both facilities have private groups working on funding, and Roberts said the City plans to be responsible for half of the cost.  If funded through certificates of obligation, the debt service on the City’s portion, $2.5 million, would be about $195,000 per year.

Keith Herring

City council member Keith Herring at the workshop session Thursday.

Roberts told City Councilmembers that the first two years of debt service could be funded by the amount Washington County is paying this year for Communication services.  While the City had budgeted the entire $1 million cost of operating communications, the County is paying the City $42,000 per month to cover their share.  Those payments will continue until the County takes over Communications in October.  Roberts is proposing that the total of those payments, $371,000, be used to cover debt service on the Animal Shelter and Library construction projects for the first two years.  After that, Roberts said the debt from the Highway 290 Project should be going off the books, with the tax money raised transferred to the Shelter and Library.  Roberts said he didn’t want to definitely say there would be no tax increase needed, but he does feel fairly confident the numbers should work.  The City Council has already approved a site for the new Animal Shelter next to the Police Station off the Highway 290 Loop.

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