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City accepts bid on land for business development

by Dolores Hamilton
A bid submitted by Vaquero Ventures Management of Fort Worth for purchase of the city-owned 2.20 acre tract of land on West Highway was accepted by the Iowa Park City Council Monday night.

The company’s bid of $75,000 for the property was the only one received.
It is stipulated in the sales agreement that the buyer will begin construction of a retail facility on the land no later than six months from the date of the deed conveying the land, and completion of the facility not later than one year.

City Manager Mike Price said the closing date on the property should be late October or early November. No formal announcement has been made identifying the retail business that will locate there.

The second of two required public hearings on the proposed tax rate increase was held. The increase would take the tax rate from 74 cents to 76 cents per $100 of property valuation.

The council will vote on the tax rate, followed by adoption of the General Fund and Utility Fund budgets on Sept. 9.

In the second public hearing, the owner of a 1989 Dodge Ram Charger at 803 S. Colorado was given 45 days to bring it up to code or it will be abated in accordance with the junked vehicle regulations of the city’s Code of Ordinances.

In the third and final public hearing of the evening, to determine if a wooden residential structure at 522 W. Alameda should be declared a “Substandard Structure” as defined in the city’s Code of Ordinances, the owner was given 45 days to bring it up to code.

In other action, the council approved the Iowa Park (4-A) Economic Development Corporation’s operating budget for the next fiscal year, with revenues of $212,800.

The proposed increase in water and sewer rates, that the council will vote on at the Sept 9 meeting, were discussed.

Price said the water rates would increase 50 to 60 percent, and sewer rates would be 18 percent higher.

For example, residential water rates inside the city would go from $20 to $30 for the first 2,000 gallons, and sewer rates would go from $8.50 to $10 for the first 2,000 gallons.

Because of the decrease in the city’s water sales, made necessary because of the drought and water restrictions, an increase in service fees is necessary in order to balance the Water and Sewer Fund operations budget for the next fiscal year.

City Secretary Janice Newman was surprised at the beginning of the meeting when council members and city staff recognized her for completing 35 years employment with the city this week.

Mayor Dan Fears read a proclamation designating Friday, Aug. 30 as Janice Newman Day in Iowa Park, and the city staff presented her with a clock. A reception was held in Newman’s honor following the meeting.