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City Council Sets Course for Future Meetings

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Tuesday night, August 21, 2018 in a special session the Sulphur Springs City Council approved placing a tax revenue increase on the September 4th Regular Session Agenda and set two public hearings regarding the increase. They approved placing raises for the City Municipal Judges and City Secretary in the 2018-2019 budget and discussed nominees for a City Charter Review Committee.

In a 5-2 vote the Sulphur Springs City Council placed a proposed tax revenue increase on a Special Session Agenda for September 11. The tax rate is proposed to remain at $0.44 per $100.00 of property evaluation. The increase for the city is based on increased property values and 75% of the proposed increase will come from new properties placed on the role this past year. The total increase in revenue will be $32,452.00 if the increase is approved.

Two public hearings for the increase are set for August 30th at noon and at 6 p.m. September 5th. Both public hearings will be in the City Council Chambers.

It was noted that a 1-cent increase to the tax rate would increase city revenue by $90,000. Again, no rate increase is planned at this time. The effective rate of the revenue increase will be .436 due to the evaluation. The proposed budget for 2018-2019 that will be presented for approval during the September 11th Special Meeting agenda will include the tax revenue increase.

The council also voted Tuesday to include a salary increase for City Municipal Judges and the City Secretary in the 2018-2019 proposed budget. Councilman Jimmy Lucas stated that the $3,800 per year increase for City Secretary Gale Roberts had already been earned due to all the help she has given him since his election to council.  City Municipal Judges will receive a $350 per month increase in salary. The two judges, B. J. Teer and Brad Cummings, also serve the county as elected Justices of the Peace.

The council named names as they discussed nominees for the Charter Review Committee. The Charter Review Committee will be an action item on the September 4th Regular Session agenda for the council. Along with those who will be elected in September, the city attorney, city manager, city secretary, and a city council member will serve. Councilman Lucas stated that he would stand as a nominee from the council. Seven or eight citizens will be named to the committee based on a ranking vote by the council at the September 4th meeting. Among those nominated, former Councilman Bill Watts, Jay Julien, a local banker, Tyler Law, a local businessman, Dr. Scott McDearmont, Will Longino, Justin Davidson, and Jason Cunningham. Others will be added to the list of nominees prior to the list of nominees being presented.

The City Charter Review Committee will meet five or six times during a 60 day period. They will submit any changes for the Charter on or before the March Regular Session of the council and will the Charter revisions will be presented to the voters in the May, 2019 Municipal election.

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Author: Staff Reporter

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