River Authority Adopts Annual Budget

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(SAN ANTONIO) – The Board of Directors of the San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) yesterday adopted a $318.2 million-dollar budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22 (FY22). The budget was developed utilizing a tax rate of $1.858 cents per $100 of property value, a rate unchanged from the current fiscal year. While the approved budget begins on July 1, 2021, the Board of Directors will act on the final tax rate on September 15, 2021, after receipt of the final property valuations in late July.

“The adopted budget supports projects and organizational goals that advance the River Authority’s commitment to the stewardship of the San Antonio River Basin and the constituents who we are proud to serve,” said Board Chairman, Darrell T. Brownlow, Ph.D. “We are closely monitoring the property valuation process throughout the district and the Board will make a final decision on the tax rate in September and amend the agency budget at that time if necessary.”

The total expenditure appropriation is highlighted by $51.1 million in General Fund operations; $176.9 million for capital improvement projects; $7.1 million for annual debt service; and $11.4 million for utility operations (excluding debt service and construction and improvement funds).

“The adopted budget provides funding to continue the current level of services provided to the constituents of the River Authority’s four-county district,” said River Authority General Manager Derek Boese. “The budget also includes investments that will continue to advance River Authority capabilities and respond to targeted needs that contribute to the River Authority’s support of creeks and rivers.”

Of the $318.2 total available funds, $39.5 million are General Fund revenues with 92.5 percent generated from property tax. Other major revenue sources include utility Charges for Services of $19.8 million and grant funding of $6.8 million. Another significant source of funding is Intergovernmental Revenue which totals $94.6 across Capital Improvement Funds. This group of Funds represents investments in the completion of capital improvement projects, such as the collaboration with Bexar County and the City of San Antonio for the construction of the San Pedro Creek Culture Park.

The FY22 budget includes the authorization of 62 projects across all funds, with 34 projects in the River Authority Projects Fund totaling $5.5 million in new funding for FY22. Highlights of new proposed projects within the River Authority Projects Fund include Predictive Flood Modeling for Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties; initiating Phase II of the Escondido Creek Parkway in Kenedy; Freshwater Mussel Reintroduction along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River Walk; Watershed Master Plan Integration; Floodplain Remapping along the Leon and Salado creeks and Medina River; collaboration with the City of San Antonio and Alamo Heights for the installation of green infrastructure; and coordination with Bexar County on the development of the Bexar County Rivers & Creeks Program.

The annual tax rate must be set at the same rate throughout the River Authority’s four-county district including Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties and may only be used for planning, operations, and maintenance activities. A public hearing will be held on September 15, 2021 prior to adoption of the tax rate. The complete budget will be available on the River Authority’s Transparency page on the agency’s website: sariverauthority.org. 

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