City of Gatesville

Spur Capital of Texas
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Minutes for May 27, 2014

 

 

REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING

 

MAY 27, 2014

 

5:30 P.M.

 

COUNCIL CHAMBER, 110 NORTH 8TH STREET

 

PRESENT:      Mayor Byrom, Council Members, Woodlock, Viss, Burrow, Chumley, and Inmon

 

REGRETS:   Shepherd-Cain

     

OTHERS PRESENT:  City Manager Roger Mumby, Assistant City Manager Luis Lobo, City Secretary Wendy Cole, City Attorney Sandy Gately, Larry Kennedy, Brenda Kiphen, Nathan Gohlke, Harry Grmela, Debbie Grmela, Jim Shepard, Fred Weaver, Liz Reinhardt, Jesse Fowler, Bobby Buster, Don Norman, Greg Perkins, Billy Vaden, Fred Crandall,  Shirley Fowler, William H. Parry III

 

AN OPEN  MEETING WAS HELD CONCERNING THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS

 

1)  CALL TO ORDER  AT 5:35  P.M., THIS  27th  DAY OF  MAY  2014

 

2)  PROOF OF NOTICE AND POSTING OF COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA

 

Mayor  Byrom directed a question to  City Secretary Wendy Cole  if the notice of the meeting was posted at proper place and time pursuant to the Texas Opening Meeting Act (Tex. Gov’t. Code Chapter 551, Sec. 551.041)  City Secretary Wendy Cole  assured Mayor Byrom  the notice  was posted at the proper place and time.

 

Posted: 

Day:  Friday

Date:  05-23-14

Time: 3:00  p.m.

By:   Wendy Cole

 

3)  APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM PREVIOUS MEETING   

 

Motion by Viss, seconded by Woodlock, all voting "Aye" to approve Resolution Number 2014-53

 

RESOLUTION NUMBER 2014-53      -  approve Minutes of  May 13, 2014  Regular City Council.

 

4)   RECOGNIZE RETIRING EMPLOYEE  GREG PERKINS

 

Mayor David Byrom presented retiring Street Department employee Greg Perkins with a plaque and thanked him for his long and dedicated support of twenty-eight years to the City of Gatesville and its citizens.  On behalf of the City of Gatesville Mayor Byrom wished Greg all the best in his retirement.

 

5)   HEAR VISITORS     

 

Visitors  present were only concerned with an Agenda item.

 

6)   HEART OF TEXAS DEFENSE ALLIANCE (HOTDA) UPDATE

 

The Heart of Texas Defense Alliance (HOTDA) Executive Director, William H. Parry III thanked the Mayor and Council members for taking the time to listen to the update on the HOTDA and provided the Council a handout outlining the defense alliance.  Mr. Parry said he wanted to update the Council on what is happening in the HOTDA relative to Fort Hood and to report what is going on with defense budget, army spending, and army future plans. 

 

 

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He thanked the City of Gatesville for the support given to HOTDA the last ten years when the alliance was formed in 2003.  HOTDA was formed to organize community support for Fort Hood and to respond to the effect of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) action.  Mr. Parry discussed the organization and purpose of the HOTDA which includes Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton, Temple, Gatesville, Bell County and Coryell County.  Mr. Parry explained that the alliance promotes the importance and sustainability of Fort Hood and all the defense related industries, organizations, and institutions in the affected area.   Mr. Parry then discussed in detail one of HOTDA’s strategic goals:

 

----  To analyze local state, and national information regarding future plans that potentially

        impact Fort Hood’s force structure, functions, missions, and capabilities; assess and

        address regional weakness and threats; seek opportunities that sustain Fort Hood’s

        authorized strength.

       

Mr. Parry stated that Fort Hood is a growing installation and will not be closed by the Army.  The rough spot that Fort Hood is experiencing right now is driven by politics and Fort Hood will survive and come out just fine. 

 

Mr. Parry then discussed and answered questions from the Council regarding:

 

---  The 41,550 soldiers assigned to Fort Hood and that 5,550 of those are currently

      deployed.

 

---  That 75% of the deployed families stay in Fort Hood which is good for  the economy.

 

---   The impact that the possible downsizing would have on civilian employees and

       contractors.

 

---  The impact of the governments view of passage of the 2015 defense authorization and

       appropriations bills.

 

---  The Army Reserves/National Guard

 

---  Facility upgrades and replacements at Fort Hood and funding of any more Operational

      Ready Training Complexes.

 

Mr. Parry said that there will be a lot of uncertainty during the period of downsizing and cuts but that Gatesville needs to stay the course and keep doing what Gatesville is doing to support Fort Hood and all will turn out fine.

 

Mayor Byrom thanked Mr. Parry for the HOTDA update which helps the Council understand the relevance of where Gatesville stands and so the City can appropriately plan for the future.

 

7)   CONSIDER SECOND READING OF ORDINANCE NUMBER 2014-06 ANNEXING APPROXIMATELY 300 ACRES  OF LAND LOCATED IN THE  ANTONIO AROCHA SURVEY, ABSTRACT 8, CORYELL COUNTY, TEXAS

 

Mayor David Byrom said that there were three people that wished to speak concerning

this agenda item and invited them to come forward one at a time and to please state their name and address before they speak.

 

Harry Grmela of 101 Rocky Branch said that since this annexation has started he has read the law and has learned that the citizens opposed to this annexation should be upset with the Texas legislators since they are the ones that give Home Rule cities, such as Gatesville, the power to annex property with or without the citizen’s consent.  Mr. Grmela then asked why the City wants to annex that part of town and why taxes weren’t mentioned.

 

Mayor Byrom said that when the City staff and Council looked at the growth of the City and the surrounding areas they looked at the areas that are progressing and have the potential to grow to protect the boundary of the community. 

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The area around the Country Club was determined to be a growing area and certainly the people living in that area would object to the tax that is coming but the City sees that as a place of potential growth.  Mayor Byrom said that the additional tax revenue that would come from this annexation would not be much of a gain for the City because there will be additional responsibilities that will come with this.  So future growth is what is being looked at that  will help the community prosper.  Mr. Grmela asked, “Then why would the City want to invest all that money?” 

Mayor Byrom said that from the Council’s perspective that it is the potential of the future growth in that area.

Mr. Grmela asked if River Oaks was next to be annexed and Mayor Byrom said that the City has no formal annexation plan and couldn’t answer that question.  Mr. Grmela discussed the City Charter and reminded the Council that the citizens of Gatesville elect them.

 

Mayor Byrom told Mr. Grmela that he would be eligible to run for  the Council if this annexation action gets approved.

 

Mr. Grmela asked how soon citizens could get sewer service and Mr. Mumby said that it depends on the location of the property.  The City engineer is developing a plan.  Mr. Grmela said that zoning letters were already being sent out by the city and citizens were wondering why, since the annexation hasn’t been approved.  Mr. Mumby said that the City is preparing for the zoning if the annexation is approved.  Also discussed was when the new taxes would take effect.

 

Mr. Mumby said that if this annexation gets approved the property would not be appraised for taxes until the following year.

 

Mayor Byrom said that no one likes to pay taxes but that citizens must realize that there is value in taxes for the community so it can continue to grow.  People that live on  the perimeters of this community benefit from these services.  Mayor Byrom said that this is an economic decision but he believes that is the right thing to do as the City goes forward.

 

Mr. Jesse Fowler of 605 Straws Mill approached the Council and asked how much tax money the City would receive for annexing  this property and what it would be used for.

City Manager Mumby estimated that it would be $35,000 to $40,000 and it would be placed in the general fund. 

 

Mr. Fowler asked about the zoning letter that was mailed out and Zoning Official Liz Reinhardt answered that the letter is just notifying affected citizens about the Planning and Zoning Meeting on June 2nd .  This meeting is regarding the zoning of the proposed annexation area and that the zoning  will be presented to have all properties stay as they are now.  Mr. Mumby said that the Planning and Zoning Committee is not a decision  making body.  Planning and Zoning would consider this zoning  and make a recommendation to the Council.  Mr. Fowler said he is not 100% in agreement with this annexation decision, but is not totally against either.

 

Mr. Fred Crandall of 110 Rocky Branch Road approached the Council and said that he understands what the Council is trying to accomplish but thinks that the Council needs to do the will of the people.  Mr. Crandall spoke and agreed with earlier comments and concerns already discussed and thanked the Council for listening to him.

 

Mr. Mumby said that the ordinance has not been changed since the first reading and recommends approval of the second reading of the annexation ordinance.

 

Motion by Woodlock, seconded by Burrow, all voting “Aye” to approve Resolution Number 2014-54

 

RESOLUTION NUMBER 2014-54  -  approve the second  reading of Ordinance Number 2014-06 to annex approximately 300 acres of  land located in the Antonio Arocha Survey, Abstract 8, Coryell County, Texas.

 

 

 

 

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8)   CONSIDER RESOLUTION TO DENY ATMOS ENERGY CORPORATION, MID-TEX DIVISION’S  (ATMOS)  REQUEST TO INCREASE ITS REVENUE AND CHANGE ITS RATES UNDER THE RATE  REVIEW MECHANISM

 

Assistant City Manager Luis Lobo said that in February 2014 Atmos asked for a rate increase of $45.7 million dollars and the coalition of cities that Gatesville is a part of is opposing the rate increase.  The coalition of cities have tried to negotiate the rate increase with Atmos but have not succeeded to agree.  The coalition of cities feel that since there have been rate increases in the last two years of over 40 million dollars that a 45.7 million dollar increase is excessive.  Mr. Lobo said that it is recommended that the City pass a resolution to deny the rate increase requested by Atmos and to reimburse the cities’ rate -case expenses for any and all related appeals.  Atmos and the coalition of cities have agreed to let the Railroad Commission settle the issue.

 

Councilmember Burrow asked if this was the complete rate increase list that is included in the council book and Mr. Lobo said that this was not a full detailed list but what really stood out.

 

Mayor Byrom asked for a motion.

 

Motion by Chumley, seconded by Burrow, all voting “Aye” to approve Resolution Number 2014-55

 

RESOLUTION NUMBER 2014-55  -  approve Resolution Number 2014-55 to deny Atmos Energy Corporation, Mid-Tex Division’s (Atmos) request to increase the revenue and change its rates under the Rate Review Mechanism.

 

9)   CONSIDER PAY REQUEST #4 FROM GRACON CONSTRUCTION INC.

 

City Manager Roger Mumby said that this pay request of $310,923.08 is for work completed to date on the clarifier at the Water Plant.  Gracon is waiting on mechanical materials so they can install the screens.  The clarifier should be completed by July or August and Walker Partners has reviewed and recommends this pay request  

 

Motion by Viss, seconded by Inmon, all voting “Aye” to approve Resolution Number 2014-56

 

RESOLUTION NUMBER 2014-56  -  approve Pay Request #4 from Gracon Construction Inc. for $310,923.08 for improvements at the Water Treatment Plant.

     

10)   FIRE DEPARTMENT REPORT

 

Fire Chief Billy Vaden discussed the fire department report which was included in the council book.  Mr. Vaden reported that a 1989 Grumman 102 ft. aerial platform was purchased for the fire department through Gov.deals and was paid for out of the fire department funds for $20,000 and the truck is in great shape.

 

11)  POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT

 

Police Chief Nathan Gohlke discussed the Police Department report and also said that they are currently interviewing for a police officer position and will soon be interviewing for a dispatch position.

 

12)  UTILITY DEPARTMENT REPORT

 

Wastewater Treatment Plant employee, Bobby Buster discussed the wastewater report and further discussed the grease that had to be cleaned out of the lines that Texas Department of Criminal Justice put in the sewer.

 

 

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Mr. Mumby reported that there are four more days of the free chlorine burn and as far as the City staff knows there has been only one complaint from a citizen.  The City flushed the fire hydrant by her house and we never heard anything else.

 

13)   CODE ENFORCEMENT AND BUILDING PERMIT REPORT

 

Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer Liz Reinhardt discussed the building permits, code enforcements, and zoning actions for April 2014.  A question was asked how she determines when a property needs mowing and Ms. Reinhardt said that she goes out and sees it herself or will go and look at a property if someone calls in to complain.

 

14)   CITY ATTORNEY REPORT

 

City Attorney Sandy Gately’s report was included in the council book and there were no questions.

 

15)  CITY MUNICIPAL JUDGE REPORT

 

City Municipal Judge, Tonya Place’s report was included in the council book and there were no questions.

 

16)   ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOARD REPORT

 

The Economic Development Board Report was included in the council book and there were no questions.

 

17)   FINANCE REPORT

 

Finance Director, Brenda Kiphen discussed the Financial Report for April 2014 and there were no questions.

 

18)   CITY  MANAGER’S REPORT

 

City Manager Roger Mumby asked if there were any questions regarding his report:

 

---  Councilmember Viss asked for an update on the HOME Program and the Civic Center.

 

---  Mr. Mumby said that the HUD funding is still on hold and at this point is not sure if the

      City would want to pursue this program in the future after this experience.

 

---  Civic Center bids are in but not everything was bid on.  The City staff is pursuing bids

      for the unbid projects.  It has been frustrating because the plan was to already be

      working on the renovations.  Some items were bid high so if any major changes are

      made to any proposed plans to stay within budget the Council would be made aware of

      it before the City staff would go forward with the change.  The loan has been secured on

      a draw basis so we can get the funds as needed and won’t pay interest until money is 

      starting to be used. 

 

---  There is a collection effort going on to generate enough money to shoot fireworks on

      the 4th of July.  The community has voiced their displeasure of not having fireworks this

      year since the City decided not to fund it due to the Civic Center renovation.  The staff

      feels confident that enough money will be collected.  A contract was signed and mailed

      out today to the firework company.

 

---  Councilmember Chumley reported a complaint regarding the batting cages at the

      ballpark.  There are holes in the screen, the grass wasn’t cut, and the pitching machines

      didn’t work.  Mr. Mumby said he would talk to Sam about  it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MAY 27, 2014

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19)   ADJOURN AT  7:05 P.M., THIS  27th  DAY OF  MAY,  2014

 

 

ATTEST:                                                                          APPROVED:

 

 

_________________________                                       __________________________

Wendy Cole                                                                     David K. Byrom

City Secretary                                                                                     Mayor 

 

 

City of Gatesville- The Spur Capital of Texas!