Sunday, August 15, 2010
Council names feasibility committee; no alcohol sales at reset Nov. 6 city concert
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITYThe Gun Barrel City Council gave the green light for convention center supporters to form a citizens committee Tuesday.
The motion passed 3-1, with councilman Marty Goss opposed.
The committee will report on the benefits, impacts and costs of a center, as well as design possibilities.
Former mayor Paul Eaton and Economic Development Corporation board member Linda Rankin were appointed to co-chair and recruit other committee members.
The citizens committee will report back to the council in 90 days.
At that time, the council will decide whether the committees findings are feasible enough to put before the voters, with public hearings following.
It will require re-establishing an ad valorem tax something the city hasnt had in more than 20 years to help finance the $20 million structure, Mayor Dennis Wood said.
City leaders are looking at a recently acquired 92-acre tract adjoining city property near the 40 acres park as a potential site.
A convention center would be a driving force in the citys economy, Wood said.
We have a good area for a convention center, with a strong center for education, Wood pointed out. We can attract events here.
Goss opposed the idea saying a convention center was not a priority for the city.
Building a city hall and expanding the fire department are both more vital to the citys goals, Goss said during a recent workshop.
Wood countered that though a convention center was last on the list, strengthening the areas economy was a priority, and he believes a convention center will address that, pointing to Granbury as an example.
Granbury, as a city did very well, Wood said.
I feel you are backward in your approach on this, Goss replied.
Though convention centers in and of themselves often operate at a loss, they bring more money into the area through hotel stays, growth in the hotel-motel tax, meals bought at restaurants, etc., Rankin told the council.
Its not designed to be self-supporting, she said. It does bring a lot into the community, and adds to the quality of life,
Rough estimates on property taxes needed to pay for a convention center came to about $29 a month on a $100,000 property, not counting the commercial property in the city.
With commercial property, that figure drops to $138 per year, or a little less than $12 a month, Wood suggested.
The committee will look into all of that, he said.
Those tax estimates are based on repaying a 30-year-plus loan at 4 percent interest, Wood said, adding there was a possibility that up to 60 percent of the interest might be covered by a grant.
I cant fathom asking voters for an ad valorem tax, Goss said.
It would have to be presented to the voters, Wood noted. They would decide to build it or not.
In other business, council members:
denied a special permit to allow beer and wine sales at the planned Nov. 6 concert on a 3-2 vote, with Wood breaking the tie.
Goss and Dennis Baade favored issuing the permit, while Marvin Pace and Curtis Webster opposed. Melvyn Hayes was absent.
I feel we should leave alcohol sales out, due to the family atmosphere, Wood said.
It is not cost-efficient without it, Goss said. In order for it to be successful, we need beer and wine sales.
Later in the meeting, Goss made a comment that there would be no concert without alcohol.
authorized spending $10,000 from the nearly $100,000 hotel-motel tax fund to sponsor the inaugural KCKL Big Catfish Tournament at Big Chief Landing Sept. 25-26.
approved a contract with E&F Recovery, LLC for billing services to insurance companies to recover fire/accident expenses for the fire department.
authorized the city manager to negotiate with a property owner to clear a city lien so the property can be sold.
The property owner owes nearly $1,000 for lot-clearing services provided in 1988. The lien has grown to $5,000, far more than the property is worth.
agreed to process warrants for Log Cabin and provide housing for defendants.
approved replatting several lots owned by Norma and Wallace Newman into a single lot.
New teachers welcomed to Mabank ISD
Tool awarded rural affairs grant
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