By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (September 15, 2015) — The tax rate for the City of Stephenville will remain the same as it was a year ago.
The council voted to approve the proposed rate of $0.49 per $100 valuation Tuesday evening in council chambers at City Hall.
The approval did not come without naysayers. First-year alderman Rhett Harrison said he felt the city should lower the rate half a cent to $0.485.
“”I’d like to see it at 48 and a half myself. I think we have some margin there… I think it can be done,” said Harrison before he and Sherry Zachary cast the only votes against the proposed rate.
Before moving on from the tax rate discussion, Stephenville Mayor Kenny Weldon noted the city is finishing a “budget neutral year.”
“We did not decrease the amount of money in the city as a result of this year’s budget,” Weldon proclaimed. “I think that’s an important and significant achievement to highlight.”
The council also approved an amendment to its agreement with CH2MHILL/OMI regarding wastewater treatment plan operations. the amendment means a “contractually calculated 2.28 percent overall rate increase of $16,596.89 for a total annual operational cost of $744,696.70 in accordance with the existing agreement,” according to a memo by city administrator Pat Bridgets.
Council further approved a lease purchase agreement for a Pumper fire truck and a study costing $15,500 exploring a possible multi-purpose center.
Public finance committee chairman Doug Svien said a commitment has been made by the Cowboy Capital of the World Pro Rodeo committee to fund 25 percent of the study, which will be conducted by Burditt Consultants out of Conroe. It passed despite nay votes from Harrison and Alan Nix.
Nix finished the meeting by commending the Stephenville Police Department, fitting since it began with the swearing in of new officer Barrett Joiner, a Dublin native.