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City of Brady

Debt service (principal and interest payments) will cost the City of Brady over $1 million this fiscal year. It is not apparent from the city budget exactly how much the city owes. It only shows what the payments are.

However, the Texas Bond Review Board has a database of all municipal debt outstanding in the state that can be searched by city. Here is a summary of Brady's outstanding debt as of 8/11/2011:

Brady Debt

 

Notice that the first four items totaling some $8.5 million are Certificates of Obligation that do not require voter approval. Unless people attend every City Council meeting and scrutinize the budget carefully or the local media reports it, it is easy for the City Council to let debt accumulate unnoticed.

The $4 million Certificate of Obligation shown on line four raises questions that we have been unable to answer. The fact that no interest is shown indicates it is Commercial Paper, issued at a discount. Commercial paper is usually due in less than 270 days, but the maturity date (May, 2031) shows this is a 30 year loan. When we have an explanation, we will report it.

The current budget indicates that the Brady City Council does not intend to reduce the debt burden that drives up utility surcharges. In fact, they intend to borrow another $465,000 this year. Presumably, this will be another CO or vendor financing since there is no Bond election pending.

Most citizens and many public officials don't know exactly how local governments meet their financing needs. Most just assume local governments are financed with sales and property taxes until they start asking questions and demanding answers. Only then do they find that property taxes don't even cover City Hall Administrative expenses. Utility surcharges fund almost two-thirds of city spending in Brady!

Read more: Certificates of Obligation - Intent and Abuse

Weather

The first major asset is God given. Compared to the rest of Texas and the US as a whole, Brady has almost ideal weather.

 

Temperature is generally mild. High Temperatures in July average about 95° while low temperatures in January average about 32°. The number of heating degree days (degrees < 65°) and cooling degree days (degrees > 65°) is almost equal, indicating overall comfortable temperatures.

Read more: Brady Assets – Community Assessment, Part 2

Watching the Brady City Council operate leaves the observer with the impression that the members minds are in a fantasy world. They live in Brady, but seem detached from the reality of their own community.

 

Brady is not some upscale, affluent oasis in the Heart of Texas. Brady is a very poor community. It is depressing to note that 25% percent of the households here have incomes less than $15,000 and 72% have household income less than $50,000 per year. The median household income in Brady is about $32,000, meaning half make less than that and half make more.

Read more: Brady Reality – Community Assessment

Dead Fish at Brady Lake

Drought, low water levels, and high salt concentrations combined with a toxic Golden Algae bloom has proven deadly for the fish in Brady Lake.

Dead Fish at Brady Lake

Gar and Carp seem to be unaffected by the Golden Algae Bloom but the Bass population has become food for birds and varmints.

Dead Fish at Brady Lake

An unidentified Brady Lake Visitor finds a trophy bass among the thousands of dead and dying fish.

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