By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
STEPHENVILLE (August 24, 2016) – A public hearing of the upcoming city budget was lightly attended and drew no public comments Tuesday during a special meeting of the Stephenville City Council.
The general public may not have had concerns, but newly-elected councilwoman Carla Trussell wanted to know if the Stephenville Public Library was in danger of losing accreditation because its budget fell short of national criteria.
Director of Community Services Jeremy Allen explained the city had successfully appealed last year when the budget fell slightly short of accreditation. Allen explained there are a number of ways beside a budget to qualify for accreditation to include including information about payroll, hours from the parks and recreation department and human resources.
Allen said he felt Stephenville would again be able to make a successful appeal with those same types of statistics coming into play. Such an appeal won’t be needed until next year as the accreditation generally lags a year behind the reported budgets.
Councilman Jerry Warren asked if the budget was going to need to be amended to address a problem with slab leveling on a portion of Alexander Road inside the city limits.
Director of Public Works Nick Williams said the project has been accessed before and an estimate of $25,000 was made for repairs to the area; however, he asked not to be held to that figure until he would be able access the problem due recent rains.
Councilman Doug Svien noted the current proposed budget wouldn’t need adjusting because of money that is budgeted for street repairs. If the project did go over the $25,000 mark, then the council could make an adjustment later in the year.
Mayor Kenny Weldon complimented the city staff and council members for the extensive effort put into this upcoming year’s budget.
The council voted to approve September 6 and 13 as Public Hearing Dates on the proposed upcoming tax rate. Both those meetings are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.