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City Council Approves Capital Improvement Plan; Begins City Charter Amendment Process

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Sulphur Springs City Council approved the Capital Improvement Plan for 2019-2023, approved an amendment to the case management software contract with GHS, voted to begin the City Charter Review/Amendment process, discussed a potential food truck ordinance, and heard speakers focused on recycling, downtown parking, and animal control.

Josh Bray with Sanitation Solutions told the council that his company pays $55-$95 per ton to get rid of recyclable materials. Bray stated that services like his now have to pay recycle centers to take the materials. He said that curbside pickup of recyclable material has a substantial cost. He noted that when curbside pickup of material to recycle is instituted, garbage pickup would be only one day per week with the second day used to pick up recyclables. He noted that only 15-20% of residents in cities that recycle participate in the program. However, he said, all residents in the city pay additional cost. He noted studies and area cities as examples for his presentation.

The council heard that with the budget 75% complete for the year, revenue for the city remains strong. Sales tax revenues are up 3.4% over the budgeted revenue expected. It was also noted that expected water revenue for the city should give the city a strong finish to the year.

Bellview Street will be an asphalt street with major water and sewer utility work performed for more of the street than originally planned. The council approved a $1-million expenditure on the street. With that completed, the council approved the Capital Improvement Plan for 2019-2023 with no other change to the original plan presented in the June regular session and a June 27th special session of the council.

GHS, a case management software service that provides services to the city municipal court will now house servers in the city police department. The company is under mandate to secure the servers in a protected environment and will use Sulphur Springs Police building as the hub for their cloud servers. Council approved the new relationship based on the fact that the city has the proper facility and more than ample space and because it will save the city over $16,000. The city will no longer pay $17,500 for the service but will supply just over $1,000 in electricity are the servers. Dave Graves, with GHS, described the agreement to KSST News as a win-win.

Following a request by Councilman Jimmy Lucas and an explanation of procedure by City Attorney Jim McLeroy, the city council voted to begin the Charter Review/Amendment process. The City Charter was last reviewed in 1983 and all though it time to update the Charter.  The process will now begin and a review committee could be chosen as soon as the August Council meeting.

Food trucks were the focus of a discussion requiring no action. The council did state individual agreement regarding guidelines for location, safety, food handling, and other steps to regulate food trucks. It was noted that permits and required inspections as known in local restaurants are already required for food trucks in the city. Council members stated that they desired to see those permits posted on trucks.

During Public Forum, recycling, parking downtown, and animal control were subjects for local residents. One local resident spoke against recycling saying that it is not the right thing for the city. Barbara Palmer, owner of Pioneer Café, addressed the council regarding parking downtown and the use of parking spaces by employees of downtown businesses. She noted that her staff was limited in locating parking near her café and that the use of some green space and the closing of streets near her business is a detriment for all downtown businesses. Charles Oxford addressed the council regarding what he called the city murdering his dog. Oxford stated that a neighbor falsely accused his dog of biting the neighbor and animal control took the dog and “…cut off its head.” He also accused city staff of telling the Commerce Animal Shelter to not sell him another dog.

Author: Staff Reporter

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