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City Council approves new tax rate

by Dolores Hamilton
The Iowa Park City Council voted to set the new property tax rate and adopted the operations budget for the General Fund and Water and Sewer Fund at Monday night’s meeting.

Before the vote on the tax rate, Mayor Joe Ward said, “We’ve had two public hearings on this item, and if there’s any discussion I’d like to limit the discussion to 10 minutes, then I will call for a vote.”

No comments were made, and the council voted unanimously to raise the ad valorem tax rate to 74-cents per $100 of property value, a 2.83 percent increase over last year. Total tax revenue to be raised this year, including tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll, is $1,636,764.

That is an increase of $34,067 over last year, and will be used to purchase capital outlay items such as a police patrol car, fire truck, and dump truck.

These purchases will replace some of the city’s worn out vehicles.

The General Fund budget for 2011/2012 contains revenue of $3,289,050 and expenditures of $3,283,780. The Water and Sewer Fund budget has revenue of $3,419,300 and expenditures of $3,419,290.

The city is wanting to submit a grant application to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for a boating access project on the southwest end of Lake Buffalo that will be located in a floodplain area and could have environmental impacts on the area. A public hearing was held to receive public input.

City Manager Mike Price explained that the paved access road to the boat ramp would be no higher than the original ground level and should not be a problem. Price said he should know in January if Iowa Park gets the grant. If the grant is approved, work would start around July 29 and be finished before Oct. 31.

Several fishermen were at the meeting and inquired about progress of the project and access to the lake while work is being done.

Following the hearing, council members approved a resolution authorizing submission of the grant application for financial assistance with the improvements at Lake Buffalo. Funding is available from Texas Parks and Wildlife through a 75/25 percent matching grant. Iowa Park is requesting $131,433.75 from the state and the city’s match would be in in-kind labor and equipment used during construction.

In other business, the council authorized the write-off of bad debts.

The bad debts are from utility bills which have not had any activity within the three month period prior to Oct. 1. The total owed the city for the past fiscal year is $2,820.70.

Price said the individuals on the list would be contacted again this week to give them an opportunity to pay their bill before it is printed in the Leader. He said that the unpaid debts are not forgiven or forgotten because the city keeps a list of all individuals and businesses that have left owing it money.

Following are the names and amount owed on the charge-off list: Edebra Asher, $7.92; Bruce Atkins, $3.39; Sheila Barger, $25.78; Ruppert Beebe, $16.37; Jeremy Bell, $14.61; William Besco, $63.45; David Bouder, $28.80; Don E. Chisum, $20.35; Greg Clark, $60.52; Tommy Crist, $71.30; Jason Currey, $15.57; Lori Davis, $79.86; Latisha Demarco, $98.79; Jacqueline Denton, $24.63; Bobby Dyer, $3.36; L.J. Eaton, $33.34; Brandon Edington, $65.69; Brandy Flesner, $98.79; Calvin Fowler, $81.99; Paul Geiger, $34.67; Jennifer Glassburn, $5.25; Maryon Gray, $35.43.

Also, Boyd Grigsby, $121.72; A.D. Hambright, $74.29; Chelsea & Robert Howard, $11.23; Cheryl Johnson, $33.02; Lisa Jones, $28.74; Benny Long, Jr., $17.43; Kevin Gene Lucas, $45.88; Michael Lucas, $10.80; Jill Mullinax, $24.88; Jonathan Munsey, $54.31; Christine Oakes, $31.75; Michael Parker, $10.05; Bessie Payton, $54.93; Valerie Poss, $8.56; Christine Rector, $20.34; Tambra Rogers, $153.43; Steven Schaeffers, $76.69; Ken Schlaud, $40.08; Susan Schmidt, $24.68; Allen Sentelle, $2.11; John Shane, $59.05; Amanda Shawn, $60.24; Elizabeth Shelburne, $35.24.

Also, Joseph Sousa, $45.30; Lisa Spring, $45.09; Paula Stansbury, $30.08; Jacqueline Stone, $20.96; Candie Taylor, $90.45; Sissy Thompson, $62.84; Ricky Towery, $43.06; Laquita Vaughan, $16.85; Sandra Vaughan, $31.06; Bambi Veitenheimer, $19.07; Tami Veitenheimer (deceased) $36.18; Brian & Sandy Vetter, $122.15; Cody Vickers, $47.86; Jim Westerhoff, $95.71; Christopher Wilcox, $41.39; Demarcus Williams, $41.86; Ladonna Williams, $57.43; Jamie Wynia, $30.46; Christine Zitsch, $53.06.

At the beginning of the meeting, a proclamation was read by the mayor proclaiming Oct. 2 through 8 as “National 4-H Week” in Iowa Park.