By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville City Council authorized a high-priced sale of bonds during Tuesday’s regular meeting, with profits earmarked for civic improvement.
Council approved sale of $6 million in bonds for 20 years at an interest rate of 2.597 percent. First Southwest representative Boyd London said the bonds were sold through competitive bids early Tuesday morning.
London added that the city’s bond ratings (Standard and Poors A+/stable; Moody’s Investors Service A1) reflect a very strong financial position and he praised the city’s work in building its reserves over the last several years, accumulating fund balance and spending capital generated from current revenues. Bond proceeds will to be used for construction and renovation improvements, rehabilitation and equipping of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and other water and sewer projects.
Other meeting highlights:
• Council approved Gainesville Economic Development Corporation’s (GEDC) adoption of the Gainesville Independent School District’s new baseball field — set to be called Locke Field — as an economic development project. Council approved the incentive funding in the amount of $200,000 given from GEDC to Gainesville ISD.
• Frank Buck Zoo employee David Phillips was named “City Employee of the Month” for March 2013. Phillips received recognition for his strong work ethic, construction and mechanical skills and for a strong commitment to zoo operations and co-workers, thus making him a valuable addition to the zoo team. Phillips recently completed construction of a new exhibit, showcasing his construction knowledge and skills and his ability to manage temporary workers, to complete the project on schedule. City Manager Barry Sullivan read and presented Phillips with the recognition certificate, plus one additional day of paid vacation.
• Council approved an award of bid for expansion and improvements for the Moss Lake Water Treatment Plant and authorized the Greater Texoma Utility Authority (GTUA) to execute a contract on behalf of the city with Harrison, Walker and Harper in the amount of $2,164,951.60. City Manager Barry Sullivan said this bid came in under the estimated budget for the project.
• Council approved an award of bid for improvements to the Northwest Water Distribution System and authorized the Greater Texoma Utility Authority (GTUA) to execute a contract on behalf of the City with S & J Construction in the amount of $3,006,641.39. Sullivan said the bid came in under the estimated budget for the project, which consists of installing new water lines from the Moss Lake Treatment plant and along the west side of the municipal airport.
• Council approved cancellation of the city’s general election and special election called for May 11, 2013, due to all candidates for office being unopposed and the ballot containing no propositions. City Secretary Kay Lunnon certified that all positions to be elected in the general election and the position to be elected in the special election received one applicant only. An ordinance made the finding that the candidates for Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the mayoral seat were unopposed; this cancels the election and declares Carolyn Hendricks, Beverly Snuggs, Keith Clegg, Ken Keeler and Jim Goldsworthy elected to the two-year terms that will begin with their oath of office set to be administered at the regularly scheduled city council meeting on May 21.
• Council members discussed the possibility of developing a pair of new city ordinances involving smoking and building codes. During Tuesday’s meeting, council members individually expressed that they would like to have non-smoking areas in the city. City Manager Barry Sullivan was directed to draft an ordinance for their consideration. Mayor Jim Goldsworthy said citizen input on this subject will be appreciated and he encouraged citizens to contact the council member in their own ward. Council also discussed amending the city’s building codes regarding permitting and enforcement requirements for moving houses or structures inside the city or into the city. Goldsworthy said quality housing is the goal.
• Council members approved the release of a city lien on property located at 610 Railroad Ave. in Gainesville to enable it to be sold at a county sheriff’s department sale in October. Sullivan said the amount of the lien is more than the value of the property and he recommended approval of the release of the lien to facilitate getting the property back on the tax roll.