The Killeen City Council is just a day away from deciding on a near-$300,000 upgrade for the City Council Chambers.
“It’s going to look nice, you know. We’re going to refurbish all the seats, do the flooring, fix it all, make it look nice. So it’s going to be more accessible, more friendly. Especially for our technology,” says Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra.
The renovation could also include new electric wiring, sound and lighting. However, there are questions surrounding how the city will pay for it.
The city approved cutting 20 officer positions from the budget last September.
“We allocated so many, and we may have said, ‘Okay, last year we allocated an additional 15. We still have 15 unfilled positions, so we’re going to cut those that we allocated last year,'” Segarra said.
Segarra says funding for upgrades won’t fall on taxpayers. The city plans to use $300 collected from a partnership with Spectrum Cable and the money can only be used for government projects.
“A lot of times, all people see is money. They say, ‘Why don’t they use this for this, and why don’t they use this for that?’ But a lot of times everything is designated for a certain part of it,” Segarra said.
Meanwhile, police continue to struggle to fill vacancies. Segarra believes paying officers higher wages might lower the turnover rate, but doing that is easier said than done.
“It’s not whether we want to or not. You hit a wall because we have our Police Department, we have our streets that need repair, we have about a $40 million bill just to maintain the streets that we have,” Segarra said.
Segarra says Council members will considering budgeting for officer’s raises next year.