Sulphur Springs Mayor Emily Glass proclaimed February as Black History Month for the city as the city council began their Tuesday, February 7, 2017 meeting. The council heard reports and transacted several points of business during the session.
Sales Tax for the city is up $80,000 over budget and water sales are also over budget thanks to a dry fall. City Finance Director Peter Karsten told the council that much of the bond money for the rework of the waste water treatment plant has been invested in short term investments to allow the money to be available for the work and to earn some interest on the money as well.
The council approved an intent to abandon a segment of South Texas Street between UPS and Hopkins County Fire Station. The changes in the intersection there will be funded by TxDOT and already has their approval as well as county approval for the change. The change is being made to slow traffic in front of the county fire station. A much safer, wider turn will also be provide at the intersection that remains.
Chief of Police Jay Sanders reported the mandatory racial profiling report for 2016. His report noted 7173 citation only stops, 389 arrests only, and 227 citation and arrest stops. Race or ethnicity in those stops show 6,820 were Caucasian, 537 African-American, 216 Hispanic, 201 Asian, 15 Native American, and no Middle Eastern. In those stops, officers did not know the race of the individual in 7,570 before the stop was made. They did know the race in 219 of those stops. Searches were conducted in 774 stops and in those only 46 gave consent to search.
Trinity Oaks Apartments will have a letter provided enabling them to seek grant funds for the remodeling of 4-plex apartments located near 7th Street in the city. People on Social Security and other low income individuals live in those apartments. As they are being remodeled, residents will be provide a temporary living space.
The city also purchased a new pumper truck for the city fire department and renewed the mutual aid agreement with the county fire department.