BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
Home builders and subdivision developers got some great news Tuesday night as the Stephenville City Council passed an ordinance getting rid of a policy requiring developer and sub-dividers to reimburse the city for utilities and infrastructure already constructed using city fund.
The ordinance came as part of councilman Brandon Huckabee’s planning a development committee report. The new ordinance had a little fine tuning done to it as councilman Mark McClinton asked that the wording included properties that are either voluntary or involuntarily annexed by the city in the future.
The ordinance is viewed as a win-win situation as developers will save money, and the city will start making money off of new homes hooking up to the system. Home builders will still be charged fee for a tap into the system but will not be charged the “pro rata” of installing the water and sewer lines etc.
Director of Finance Monica Harris gave the council good news in her report that property taxes collected have added a surplus of $2.2 million to the city coffers.
Councilman Rhett Harrison gave the council the nomination’s committee report regarding the approval of an appointment to fill the vacancy to the board of adjustments. Harrison said there would be no appointment as this time and had recommendations the process used to vet nominees be reviewed.
Recent social media complaints pointed out there are potential flaws in Stephenville’s current system for appointing nominees. The new system is expected to be in place by September or October of this year and will be aimed at all of Stephenville’s boards and committees.
The council heard from councilwoman Sherry Zachary regarding the community services committee report and members voted to approve lease contracts with On Site Dance and Sky High Volleyball.
Director of Planning and Building Services Jeremy Allen presented the council with a rezoning request of Lots 2,3,4 Block 14 of the First Frey Street addition from industrial district to multi-family residential R3. The small block is part of Habitat for Humanity project and is expected to be the site of three smaller size homes after the council approved the request.
Councilwoman Carla Trussell presented the tourism and visitors bureau committee report and the council approved the new policy and procedures manual.
As part of Trussell’s report, the council voted to become a title sponsor of the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo at the cost of $15,000. The council also approved requests from Sundown of the Square ($5,000), sponsorship of the Sox Baseball Tournament ($1,800) a new logo design from Twisted J ($500) and the approval of a contract with Flight Reach Productions for the construction of a website, photography, videography, maintenance and updates ($10,000).
The funds being used will all come from the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) funds.
Councilman Brady Pendleton presented the public health and safety committee during which the council approved permits for CareFlite and Republic EMS LTD.
The council opened the meeting with police chief presenting local youngster Noah Sohm who was recognized last week for saving his mother in a medical emergency situation. Sohm received the North Central Texas Council of Governments 9-1-1 Kid Hero Award.
The youngster was presented to the council and Mayor Doug Svien came down to personally greet him.