Council amends budget, prepares to fund major projects
The Mount Pleasant City Council on Tuesday voted to amend the 2017-2018 municipal budget, creating a new fund from which a trio of major upcoming projects will be paid.
The “Construction Bond Fund 2017” will be used to account for income and expenses related to a new park/sports complex, the new animal shelter and a police communications system, projects expected to cost a combined $10,329,585.
The money to fund the projects is expected to come from a combination of existing city funds; a $500,000 Texas Parks & Wildlife Grant (to be put toward the park/sports complex); and the issuance of certificates of obligation in the amount of $9 million.
Of certificates of obligation, the Texas Comptroller’s Office states, “Cities, counties and health or hospital districts can use them to fund the construction, demolition or restoration of structures; purchase materials, supplies, equipment, machinery, buildings, land and rights of way; and pay for related professional services.
Certificates of obligation are usually supported “by property taxes or other local revenues,” according to the comptroller.
It is expected that the council will vote on issuance of the $9 million in certificates of obligation during its first meeting in December.
Also on Tuesday, the council tabled a proposal to amend the city’s alcoholic beverages ordinance. When the ordinance was adopted in 2015, it exempted restaurants serving alcohol in the central business district from the usual prohibition from being within 300 feet of a church.
The proposal on Tuesday’s agenda would have expanded that exemption to include “beer and wine sold for off-premise consumption,” according to information provided the council.
Several members of the council expressed a desire to delay voting on the measure until the full council could be present (Danny Muskrat and Michael McGahee were not at Tuesday’s meeting); and to provide more time for notifying any churches that would be impacted by the change.
In other action Tuesday, the council:
• Approved a resolution authorizing the sale of a lot on MLK Avenue to Mount Gilmore Missionary Baptist Church for $1,500.
• Awarded bids for the annual purchase of chemical supplies to a number of companies that had entered the lowest bids in different supply categories.
• Appointed council members Brian Heavner, Tim Dale and Michael McGahee to serve on the Ark-Tex Council of Governments General Board.