• August 18, 2019

City to approve $93 M debt issuance - Odessa American: News

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City to approve $93 M debt issuance

Tax rate will stay the same, which is a hike

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Posted: Monday, August 12, 2019 3:29 pm

The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to approve taking on an additional $93 million in debt, which they say will be put toward various capital improvement projects.

Council members will meet to consider this debt issuance and other issues during their 6 p.m. meeting Tuesday in the fifth floor meeting room of City Hall, 411 W. Eighth St.

This debt would be put to use in a number of different areas. Much of the money would be put toward infrastructure improvements to roads and drainage. Proposed projects also show money would be put toward a new animal shelter for the Odessa Police Department, an additional fire station in north Odessa and the rehabilitation of Floyd Gwin Park.

After months of discussion about the debt issuance and various improvement projects, many council members say they are still in favor of taking on the debt.

“All of our fine citizens understand we do have needs,’ District 2 Council Member Dewey Bryant said. “Like road needs, because of the growth … We’ve got some good homework that has been done or good studies that have been provided to us that form out these needs as well as staff itself.”

Bryant said he doesn’t’ think there’s anyone who understands the needs of the city better than the city’s staff, and that those needs have to be taken into consideration.

District 3 Council Member Detra White said she would also still be voting in favor of the debt issuance. She said she has spoken to some of her constituents about the debt, and said they had no big concern over the issuance.

“What I have explained is that we spend numerous hours receiving the briefings and the documentation for the needs of the city,” White said. “It is a lot of money, but they know that we need those things.”

White said there was a small group who have voiced their concern over the debt, but that even they aren’t disputing the needs aren’t there, they would just rather have an election to take on the debt rather than the city council approving it themselves. 

“I just feel like we have spent many, many hours listening to the presentations and examining that whose needs are and what those projected costs are and I feel like that we have done that for our constituents, that we have spent these hours looking over all of this information to make a good and reasonable decision,” White said. “And I’m comfortable with that, and I think many of the voters are comfortable with that.”

One council member, District 4 Council Member Tom Sprawls, previously voted against the debt issuance because he said he felt it should be taken to an election, and said he still feels that way.

“I think the CO will pass, but I still believe that a debt of that size needs to be taken to the voters,” Sprawls said.

Bryant said he thinks there are things that the City Council is elected to make decisions about, and that the information provided to them shows needs existing for the city.

“We spend a lot of time with it, as you well know, and I think that that’s one reason why we’ve been elected for us to make decisions within our city,” Bryant said.

Council members will also hold a preliminary vote to establish the property tax rate for the next fiscal year at $0.476601 per $100 valuation. While this is the same rate as last year, it is still a tax increase due to appraisals being higher.

When asked why not lower the tax rate so it would work out the same as last year, White said the difference this year is about a fraction of a cent.

“It would make probably very little difference to me or any property owner, because you’re looking at just a percentage of what the overall tax bill is for each individual,” White said.

Bryant didn’t say why not lower the tax rate when asked, but only called the tax rate “very good and very fair” and said keeping the tax rate the same as last year was a win-win in his mind.

Sprawls said whether to lower the tax rate or to keep it the same was a tough decision, and said he was still thinking about whether or not he would vote for keeping it the same.

“There is an argument for doing that and I would be willing to listen to both sides of that as far as lowering the tax rate,” Sprawls said. “I’m pretty undecided on that, whether it should be left alone or lowered. One thing for sure, it shouldn’t be raised.”

Council members will have to vote to approve the tax rate twice more before it takes effect when the next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

 

IN OTHER BUSINESS, COUNCIL MEMBERS WILL

>> Consider approval of special City Council minutes, July 22, 2019.

>> Consider approval of special City Council minutes, July 23, 2019.

>> Consider approval of City Council minutes, July 23, 2019.

>> Consider approval of City Council Workshop minutes, July 26, 2019.

>> Consider approval of City Council Work Session minutes, Aug. 6, 2019.

>> Consider an ordinance amending the Odessa City Code Chapter 12 “Traffic and Vehicles” Articles 12-1 “General Provisions” and Article 12-2 “Operation of Vehicles” by adding references to Code authority for traffic regulation and a list of all currently signalized intersections in Odessa (Ordinance – Second and Final Approval).

>> Consider amending the Odessa City Code Chapter 6 “Health And Sanitation”, Article 6-9 “Ambulances”, Section 6-9-31 “Fees” to raise ambulance rate charges (Ordinance – Second and Final Approval).

>> Consider an ordinance amending the Odessa City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 3 “Building Regulations”, Article 3-15 “Streets And Sidewalks”, by amending Division 6 “Vegetation” and adding a new Division 7 “Network Nodes in Public Right-of-Way” (Ordinance – Second and Final Approval).

>> Consider an Ordinance revision for the Sherwood Community Building rental fees (Ordinance - Second and Final Approval).

>> Consider amending the Odessa City Code Chapter 6, "Health and Sanitation", Article 6-5, "Accumulations, Weeds, Rubbish, Brush or Other Objectionable Matter: by amending Sections 6-5-5, 6-5-7, 6- 5-8 and 6-5-9 and adding Section 6-5-10, to provide for payment on costs incurred (Ordinance - Second and Final Approval).

>> Consider for approval the 2019-2020 Budget of $1,045,786 for the Emergency Communication District of Ector County (Resolution).

>> Consider a resolution authorizing the City of Odessa Police Department to jointly with Ector County apply for and accept a grant in the total amount of $91,770, amending the fiscal budget to appropriate awarded funds as additional grant revenue and authorizing the expenditure of awarded grant funds from the 2019 BJA Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, as adjusted by an interlocal agreement with Ector County to be considered along with this grant request (Resolution).

>> Consider for approval to use electronic signature and accept a 2020 STEP Speed, Intersection Traffic Control, and Driving Under Influence Grant in the amount of $25,717.27 (Resolution).

>> Consider an Interlocal Agreement with Ector County to authorize City of Odessa to join with Ector County in applying for and accepting upon approval, and for allocating to each party their portion of the $91,770.00, 2019 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funds (Resolution).

>> Consider annual renewal of Motorola/Premier One Software for $295,851.

>> Approve the City of Odessa's participation in UTPB STEM Academy's Career and Technology Education Career Prep/Internship Practicum Program.

>> Open a public hearing to consider approval of the request of PTCAA Texas, LP, owner, for annexation to the City of Odessa and original zoning of Light Industrial (LI) on Lot 1, Block 1, Flying J Addition (northwest corner of the intersection of Kermit Hwy. and W. Loop 338) (Ordinance – First Approval).

>> Open a public hearing to consider approval of the request of Collinwood Management Inc, owner, and John Gannon, Inc., agent, for original zoning of Light Industrial (LI) on Lot 25-27, Block 3, Industrial Sites (northeast of the intersection of SE Loop 338. and Trunk St.) (Ordinance – First Approval).

>> Open a public hearing to consider approval of the request of DiDi Pavlicek, owner, and Keith Jankowski, optionee, for original zoning of Light Industrial (LI) Lot 1, Block 1, Fenton Addition (northeast of the W Hwy 80 Service Rd and W. 2nd St. intersection) (Ordinance – First Approval).

>> Open a public hearing to consider approval of the request by Leeco Energy and Investments, owner, LCA, agent, for original zoning of Special Dwelling District (SPD) on an approx. 64.46 acre tract in Section 2, Block 42, T-2-S, T&P Ry. Co. Survey, Odessa, Ector County, Texas (northeast of the intersection of Dawn Ave. and Boise Dr.) (Ordinance – First Approval).

>> Open a public hearing to consider approval of the request by Odessa Housing Finance Corporation, owner, LCA, agent, for rezoning from Special Dwelling District (SPD) to Multi-Family-One (MF-1) on an approx. 7.14 acre tract in Section 38, Block 42, T-1-S, T&P Ry. Co. Survey, Odessa, Ector County, Texas (south of the intersection of Hunter Miller Way and 87th St.) (Ordinance – First Approval).

>> Open a public hearing to consider approval of the request by Noelle Land & Minerals, owner, LCA, agent, for rezoning from Special Dwelling District (SPD) to Planned Development-Office (PD-O) on Lot 20, Block 11, Vista del Norte, 5th Filing (northeast of the intersection of Parks Legado Rd. and La Campana Dr.) (Ordinance – First Approval).

>> Open a public hearing to consider approval of the request of Alfonso & Ester Leal, owners, JARB Holdings, LLC, optionee, to rezone from Light Industrial (LI) to Single Family-Four (SF-4) on Lots 30-35, Block 1 and Lots 37-43, Block 2, Galindo Addition (northwest and southwest corner of the intersection of S. Crane Ave. and Martines Pl.) (Ordinance – First Approval).

>> Open a public hearing to consider approval of the request by JCF, Inc, owner, SW Howell, agent, for original zoning of Light Industrial (LI) on Lot 5, Block 1, Bridges Subdivision; Lots 1, 3, & 4, Block 16, West Interstate Industrial Sites 3-41; 16.33 acres out of the southeast quarter of Section 32, Block 42, T-2-S; and 17.92 acres out of the north part of Section 41, Block 42, T-2-S, T&P Ry. Co Survey, Odessa, Ector County, Texas (southwest of the intersection of Maurice Rd. and S. County Road West.) (Ordinance – First Approval).

>> Consider codifying the current Downtown Infrastructure and Façade Grant Guidelines used for ODC grants and amending the Odessa City Code Chapter 11 “Taxation and Finance” by adding a new Article 11-4 “Downtown Infrastructure and Façade Grants ” to codify these policy guidelines and criteria, and adding reference to creation of new Design Review Board. (First Approval).

>> Consider a revision to a City Ordinance that adds a section addressing excessive absenteeism by the Citizens' Golf Advisory Committee members. (First Approval).

>> Consider amending the Odessa City Code Chapter 3 “Business Regulations”, Article 3-4 “Electricity”, Division 2 “Electrical Code”, Section 3-4-32 “Amendments. (Ordinance - First Approval).

>> Consider approving a contract granting an economic development incentive to Rack Industries, LLC for a total grant of $2,757,294.

>> Consider approving the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 1 (“TIRZ”) bylaws, authorizing the City Manager to execute any documents necessary to implement this resolution, and declaring an effective date.

>> Consider accepting the recommendation of the Board of Directors for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 1 of Toby Eoff as chairperson; authorizing the City Manager to execute any necessary documents; and declaring an effective date.

>> Consider appointing Council member Tom Sprawls to the Permian Basin Metropolitan Planning Organization.

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