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Groves Council holding budget workshops for benefit of new elected leaders

GROVES — Groves city council members agreed to hold multiple budget workshops over the next few weeks in order to meet with department heads.

Work sessions are often called so council members can further discuss and evaluate issues and gather information. These are open to the public.

The council received a budget report from City Manager D.E. Sosa Monday.

Sosa said the city council typically meets with department supervisors during a regular meeting.

However, multiple councilmembers expressed interest in having a workshop prior to the bi-monthly meetings. The council regularly meets every other Monday.

Sosa said there aren’t that many changes in the budget from last year.

“The changes in the budget are incremental for the most part,” he said. “We are not starting from zero. Ninety percent of the budget is already set. There is nothing we can do about it.”

Mayor Chris Borne said he would like a workshop since three of the sitting councilmembers have not been through it before.

“I am going to request a work session before the final approval of the budget so that we can have our questions answered,” he said.

Sosa said a work session might have to happen because there are “not enough council meetings between now and time we have to pass this.”

Ward 3 Councilman Sidney Badon, who has been through a budget review before, said he wanted to have two sessions and split the schedule with the department leaders so that the council can better grasp the task.

“With new council, and me, too, they can ask the department questions and not be rushed into things,” he said. “I think it would be a good thing. We used to do it years ago.”

The mayor said the work session will allow for the budgets to be properly vetted.

“We just want to air out all of the questions that have been accumulated over the course of the year,” Borne said.

The last possible day for a hearing on the budget, by Texas Law, is Sept. 28 and the last day for a city council to adopt a budget is Sept. 29.