Mineral Wells Area News

City Council Meeting Highlights for Aug. 16

City Council Meeting Highlights for Aug. 16
August 17
15:59 2022

By David Montgomery/ Special Contributor

The Mineral Wells City Council finalized the budget for next year and voted to approve the proposed tax rate of 0.58413980/$100 valuation for the fiscal year 2022-2023. The city chose a No New Revenue rate and on September 13th, the council will adopt the final budget as well as the tax rate.

“I think that’s the best outcome for the taxpayers.” said Stacy Choate, Palo Pinto County Tax Assessor. “For the taxpayer it’s always great in theory if the values go up and the rates come down, that’s what it’s about.”

City Manager Dean Sullivan was confident that the No New Revenue rate will fund the city’s government while allowing the city to enact a 5-year plan to reconstruct the roads.

“Twenty-one percent of next years budget will go toward building new roads,” said Sullivan. He said more than 50 percent of the budget is for public safety.

The final budget was not without concern from the council. Mayor Pro-Tem Doyle Light raised issues with the general fund including costs associated with computer replacement and how the city will respond to removing the IT and Fleet Maintenance Departments that are being phased out.

While quelling those concerns, Mr. Sullivan also sought direction from the council regarding community support for local nonprofits.

In a change from years past, Mayor Regan Johnson and Councilwoman Beth Watson voiced support for the current plans that includes no allocation for non-profit funding outside of the contractually obligated funding of the Mineral Wells Senior Center. Light also agreed and asked that the city reevaluate how community support is handled in the future.

This current fiscal year the city devoted $78,300 to support non-profits in the community. $30,00 of that went to the Senior Center. Backpack Buddies, Meals on Wheels and New Haven Ministries received $10,000 last year, along with various amounts for other local nonprofits. The council voted to not include those funds in the upcoming year’s budget.

Another item discussed at the meeting was the city’s building inspection department. Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation, David Hawes, said he wants to bring that department out of the past and modernize the way inspections are handled in the city.

“We want to gain compliance”, said Hawes, addressing the council.

The city voted unanimously to enter into contracts with three different entities to help bring the antiquated department into an easy-to-use system to streamline the currently complex permit process.

To round out the evening, the council approved an agreement with TXDOT to create a comprehensive plan for the Mineral Wells Regional Airport.

“This legitimizes us in the eyes of TXDOT”, said Haley Cuevas, Airport Manager.

The cost to the city of $33,333 is a 10% share, leaving the remaining 90% to TXDOT Aviation. This master plan will be the template for all improvements to the airport for the next 10 years.

City Manager Dean Sullivan reminded the council that he has scheduled two important public forums. The first is between the city and the Municipal Water District Board on August 25 at 4pm to discuss the Turkey Peak Reservoir project. The location for this meeting is at 4518 Highway 180 in the Link Field Services building.

The second public forum is between the city and county commissioner’s to be held on September 1 to discuss joint road repairs, Emergency Service District, and economic development projects. The meeting will be held at 525 Tradeway Drive in the AMR training room.

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