Sulphur Springs City Council To Consider 11 Ordinances, Asset Forfeiture and EDC Budgets At Sept. 3 Meeting

Aside from the City Council and a few other city officials, the Council Room at Sulphur Springs City Hall was empty during the required public hearing for the city tax rate.

Proposals for 11 city ordinances will be read for the first time during the Sept. 3 meeting of Sulphur Springs City Council. Most of the ordinances relate to the city budget, tax rate and services fees. However, one ordinance would prevent people from rolling down sidewalks and another restricts certain curbside parking.

Ordinances 2752-2756 are for appropriations, and to set the rates city residents will pay in taxes and for sanitation, water and sewer services. Water costs will increase 3 percent, sewer 2 percent and trash 1.5 percent, according to City Manager Marc Maxwell. The tax rate, however, will again remain unchanged, city council members noted following Friday’s hearing.

The city budget is projected to fund routine operations as well as a few projects without having to raise the city tax rate above the current 44-cents per $100 property valuation, Maxwell said recently. No one attended Friday’s public hearing regarding the tax rate and funding increase.

If the service rates are approved, the minimum water bill would increase by about 95 cents per month, raising to about $47.81. A bill typically twice that amount would increase only about $1.90 a month, according to the city manger.

A council meeting is scheduled Sept. 24 for budget adoption and a public hearing for Proposition A, which if approved by voters in the Nov. 5 election, would allow the city to use up to $200,000 collected from the EDC tax per year for 20 years, to fund “construction and maintenance buildings, equipment, facilities and improvements” at Pacific Park and for a new senior citizens activities center.

Additional ordinances to be formally read and considered for the first time Tuesday evening would amend the 2018-19 budget, which continues through Sept. 30, and authorize “updated service credits.” The budgetary changes include increases in fuel sales which required additional fuel purchases for the airport, according to the city manager.

Also scheduled for discussion and council consideration at the Sept. 3 meeting are the asset forfeiture and Sulphur Springs/Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation budgets.

Ordinance No. 2758 would set new gas rates for Atmos Mid-Texas, according to “a settlement between Atmos Cities Steering Committee and the Company to resolve the pending RRM rate filing.”

Ordinance No. 2759 would amend the city code to prohibit curbside parking within 25 feet of any intersection inside the city limits. This measure is proposed for safer traffic flow.

Ordinance No. 2760, as proposed would extend an existing policy which prohibits bicycle, scooters and other wheeled conveyances from being being on sidewalks, to include skateboards, roller blades, scooters and other similar devices which aren’t allowed on sidewalks in “commercially zoned areas” of the city.

The final ordinance proposal would prohibit “the use and contact with designated groundwater from beneath certain property within the City of Sulphur Springs to facilitate certification of a municipal setting designation of the property by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The City Council is also scheduled to discuss and will be asked to consider a land plat request, asset forfeiture budget, water treatment plant chemical contract, economic development budget and investment policy review.

Sulphur Springs City Council meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Council Room at City Hall, 201 North Davis St.

Sulphur Springs City Council members

Author: Faith Huffman

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