Fritch, TX - The City of Fritch has had a whirlwind of financial problems since 2011, but the city appears to be making progress.
The city has made several cuts within the last year, added a $12 surcharge to water bills and increased property tax. At Tuesday's city council meeting, Interim City Manager John Horst said the cuts and additional charges are paying off. Since he took office back in July, he said the city has reduced their deficit by about $450,000.
"We're down eight full-time employees and three part-time employees," said Horst. "We've cut total payroll, not counting benefits and taxes, by half a million dollars a year. That's a big help. We've eliminated the EMS, and that's roughly $16,000 a month."
The city is trying to legalize the sale of alcohol to boost sales tax revenue. That will be voted on in the November election. It was supposed to be on the ballot in May, but paperwork was not filled out correctly.
The EDC is also trying to bring new businesses to Fritch. They will be mailing letters to potential franchisers and offering business assistance incentives in March. City officials said it will not be able to convince businesses to come to Fritch until all the city's corruption problems are resolved.
The Texas Attorney General's Office is still investigating an estimated $250,000 worth of missing city funds. City officials said they expect indictments of past employees to me made by this summer.
Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10