Editor’s note: Michael Leamons, who is the manager of Oakdale Park and is currently the interim city administrator for Glen Rose, is now writing a column for the Glen Rose Reporter. This is his first.

Have you been to Oakdale Park lately? City Events Director Kristen Gibson has something planned there for every Saturday night during the summer — all free of charge.

You will need to bring chairs. On the first Saturday night of each month, it’s concerts in the park (K3 Sisters on July 7 at 8 p.m.). On the second and fourth Saturday nights, it’s movies in the park (Coco on July 14 at 8:30 p.m., and High Noon on July 28).

Finally, on the third Saturday night of each month from 6:30 to 9:00, the Paluxy River Bluegrass Association hosts a bluegrass stage show featuring three area bands. If you have time, plan to go for a swim in the Plunge or watch the kids play in the park’s new playground before the main attraction gets underway. Sundown Subs is offering good fare at reasonable prices at the pool concession stand until pool closing time at 7 p.m. And, the stage-side snack bar will be open while the main attractions are

being presented.

Changing gears, it’s budget time for local governments across Texas. Soon appraisal districts will be certifying property tax rolls. Once that’s done, the hard decisions will have to be made.

For the last five years, the City of Glen Rose property tax rate has been 38.4074 cents/$100 valuation. Prior to that it was 39.5 cents, then, 40.7 cents, and 10 years ago it was 43.09 cents. As you can see, the trend has been down, dropping almost 11 percent over the past decade.

Last year’s Glen Rose 38.4074 cents rate is less than those of neighboring cities: Granbury, 39.94 cents; Walnut Springs, 45.6 cents; Stephenville, 48 cents; and, Cleburne, 80.4018 cents.

Increasing sales tax revenues have helped make it possible to keep rates down. Many of these sales tax dollars come from the tourists visiting our fair city.

Of the total 8 1/4 percent sales tax rate, 6 ¼ percent is for the state and 2 percent is for the city. Three quarters of the city’s receipts are for the general fund and one quarter is for the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

In 2010, Glen Rose received $1.2 million in sales tax revenue. Over the years that amount has steadily increased. The good news is that last year, the total had risen to $1.46 million, about $260,000 more that what had been collected in 2010.

The even better news is that for the first six months of the current year, the city’s sales tax receipts have increased by about $96,000 — 20 percent over last year’s receipts.

One note of caution, however, is warranted. When the economy cools, sales tax receipts can plummet. During the Barnett Shale natural gas boom of 2007-2009, receipts skyrocketed from $869,000 in 2006 and $930,000 in 2007 to $2.1 million in 2008 and $1.9 million in 2009, before dropping to $1.2 million in 2010. As good as it is now, receipts haven’t yet regained those lofty heights.

May God bless the city of Glen Rose.