Bonham -- With the current fiscal year winding down, Bonham City Council listened to an informative 30-minute presentation by Bonham City Manager Bill Shipp regarding the proposed tax rate for the coming year and the financial status of the city.
City council also approved a performance agreement with developer Reddy Hotels to build two hotels, although groundbreaking ceremonies have slipped to a tentative date of October 1, 2013.
Bonham residents can expect the tax rate to remain unchanged -- 67 cents per $100 of valuation -- and there will be no decrease in services provided.
If all goes according to plan, city employees will receive a 1.75% effective January 1, 2014. Shipp says that several cities he studied are also offering raises in the 1%-2% range.
Bonham should end FY 2012-2013 with a reserve of $850,000, which is approximately 15% of the budget as required. In large part due to a pending real estate sale to North Texas Municipal Water District of slightly more than $160,000, Shipp is hopeful the City of Bonham will have $950,000 in reserve by the end of FY 2013-2014.
Sales tax is slightly up and holding steady at 2%-3% more than last year. The City of Bonham will collect approximately $1,010,000 this year and Shipp predicts sales tax revenue in the neighborhood of $1,050,000 in FY2013-2014.
The city also experienced an increase in taxable value; that increase in ad velorum revenue will be used to tweak the debt service plan in order to make it sustainable.
Developers and individuals with plans to construct houses might be interested in the policy adopted Monday night that will allow the conveyance of city-owned property to anyone willing to build affordable housing. The city is trustee for more than 60 lots due to non-payment of taxes. This new policy could resolve two issues: significantly decrease the large number of lots the city owns as well as alleviate a shortage of affordable housing.
Water prices are continuing to increase throughout the region and Bonham residents will pay 15% more in the coming year. Shipp said the average customer should expect a monthly increase of $2.50-$3.00. Continued growth in North Texas has led to dramatic investments in infrastructure and that means additional increases in water prices are predicted in the years ahead.
City council addressed four openings on BEDCo, the local economic development corporation. Council member John Burnett suggested that Ray Clark replace Sid Andrew, Teresa Stapp replace Bob Self, Larry Moss replace Margaret Bradshaw and Ronnie Sudderth be re-nominated. City council approved Burnett's plan.
Dale McQueen was named to the Bonham Tourism Advisory Committee.
In other business, Bonham City Council :
- Approved an interlocal agreement with Texoma Council of Governments for emergency 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point Services;
- Authorized the submission of a grant application to the 2013 Criminal Justice Grant Program;
- Approved an ordinance regulating specific noises regarded as a public nuisance;
- Approved an ordinance prohibiting the use of engine "Jake" brakes in the city limits; and
- Approved an ordinance designating the placement of stop signs at three intersections onto Lynn Street.