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City Council Approve Rates, Fees, Rezoning; Manager Reports Start of Reconstruction on Pampa Street, Completion of Locust Street

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Attendance was sparse at the Sulphur Springs City Council meeting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in the council chambers. All council members and members of city staff attended but few members of the public were present as the council approved on first reading ordinances that set the tax rate and water, sewer, and sanitation fees for the city for the new budget year. The second reading of ordinances establishing a tax increment reinvestment zone and the rezoning of property on Wildcat Way from single family to heavy commercial were also approved.

The rezoning will allow the building of an air conditioned storage facility on Wildcat Way. It will be a second location for Landmark Storage. Wayne Cooper is the builder.

The city tax rate will remain at .44 per $100 valuation but will increase 2.66% as final property values set by the Hopkins County Appraisal District were presented to the city. Citizen Jay Julien addressed the council regarding the property tax. He requested the council to consider lowering the tax rate in proportion to the increase in value. Councilman Clay Walker noted that tax revenue is not keeping up with what it costs to run the city as it is. The council approved the revenue increase with only Councilman Dan Froneburger opposing.

Froneburger also voted his opposition to the increase in water rates. The rate will increase 2.25%, which means an approximate $117,000 increase in water revenue. However, all members of the council voted to approve the 3.5% sewer rate increase due to required operational fund and loan balance for the wastewater treatment plant and the recommended sanitation rate increase of 2.25%.

MANAGER’S REPORT

LOCUST STREET – This project is completed.

MOORE STREET.  –  Utility work is completed, and street reconstruction has begun.  The concrete contractor, Highway 19 Construction LLC, has begun soil stabilization.  Expect concrete forms in the next few weeks.

PAMPA STREET – The reconstruction of Pampa Street has begun.  The Capital Construction Division is currently replacing the sewer line.  After that, the water line will be replaced, followed by cement stabilization and an asphalt overlay.

WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT – The work at the wastewater treatment plant is on schedule despite all the summer rains.  The three primary clarifier basins have been constructed, and backfilling is about to begin.  The building which will house all of the blower controllers has also been erected.

CLAIMS – We had one liability claim in August for a sewer overflow.  We did not have any liability claims.

REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES – Finance Director, Peter Karstens will present a year-to-date summary of revenues and expenditures.

Elsewhere around the city, employees:

  • Conducted 21 building inspections, 21 electrical inspections, 17 plumbing inspections, 5 mechanical inspections, and issued 31 building permits.
  • Made 15 major street repairs following utility repairs.
  • Patched 302 potholes.
  • Cleaned storm drains twice.
  • Replaced various street signs and stop signs.
  • Sold 1,720 gallons of AvGas and 4,150 gallons of JetA fuel.
  • Responded to 195 animal control calls and achieved a 41% adoption rate.
  • Recorded 63 offenses, wrote 504 traffic citations, made 49 felony arrests and responded to 38 accidents.
  • Made 10 felony arrests in the special crimes unit.
  • Checked out 3,181 items from the library, and served 1,375 computer users.
  • Achieved a Total Suspended Solids count at the wastewater treatment plant of 0.83 mg/L.
  • Repaired 12 water main ruptures.
  • Replaced 21 water meters.
  • Unstopped 20 sewer mains.
  • Repaired 13 sewer mains.
  • Washed 80,000 feet of sewer mains.
  • Treated 147 million gallons of potable water.
  • Flushed 35 dead-end water mains.
  • Made repairs to the spillway gates at Lake Sulphur Springs.
  • Drained and disinfected Carter Street water tower.
  • Repaired various items at the water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plant.
  • Responded to 148 fire/rescue calls including 4 structure fires.
  • Sent the swift water rescue team to Houston to assist with rescue efforts.
  • Performed preventative maintenance on 85 fire hydrants.
  • Suppressed 3 invasions of army worms at Buford Park.
  • Removed dead trees at Buford Park.

 

Author: Staff Reporter

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