Gainesville City Council members approved a Gainesville Economic Development Corporation (GEDC) annexation of 143 acres of land into city limits during Tuesday’s regular meeting.
The area of land — purchased for $593,602 with surplus sales tax revenue funds — is less than one-half mile in width and is contiguous to the present boundary of the City of Gainesville. The land, owned by the GEDC and located north and east of Gainesville Municipal Airport, is vacant and without residents.
GEDC Executive Director Kent Sharp said Tuesday that the land was purchased for use by incoming manufacturing companies, but no deals have been solidified.
Other meeting highlights:
• Council adopted an ordinance re-zoning 9.14 acres known as Locke Field, located at 401 S. Weaver St. in Gainesville, from the status of “general commercial” (C-2) to “high-density multifamily residential” (MF-2). The rezoning was necessary in order to proceed with the multifamily housing project initiated by the city at 401 S. Weaver, which is owned by the city of Gainesville. A public hearing was held prior to consideration and passage of the ordinance, but no one spoke either for or against the zoning change during the public hearing.
• Municipal Judge Chris Cypert administered an oath of office to newly elected city officials Mayor Jim Goldsworthy, Carolyn Hendricks Beverly Snuggs, Keith Clegg and Ken Keeler. Councilman Ray Nichols was re-elected by the council as mayor pro tem for the next council year of May 2013 through May 2014.
• Human Resources Coordinator Jo Ann Mendez was named “Employee of the Month” for May 2013. She received recognition for being an exemplary employee — diligent, dependable and dedicated, effectively building and maintaining cooperative working relationships with city employees and staff, always willing to help others when needed and meeting all her deadlines. As employee of the month, Mendez receives a certificate for one extra day of paid vacation.
• Council re-appointed Bill Williams, Lynn Monden, Marcus Parkhill and Teresa McElreath to the city’s planning and zoning commission for additional two-year terms expiring April 2015. Council re-appointed Jock Conner, Michael Blake, Robbie Baugh and John Hendrik to the city’s building and standards commission for additional two-year terms expiring May 2015.
• Council authorized the purchase of a cab and chassis and 30-cubic-yard packer body with automated side load for the solid waste division. Purchases are through two local government purchasing co-ops for a combined total purchase amount of $261,580. The fully automated truck will replace equipment that was involved in an accident in April 2013. Payment for the new equipment will be from insurance received ($155,412.50 for the damaged equipment) and with excess revenues from the current fiscal year or budgeted for in fiscal year 2014. Replacement of the equipment is necessary to enable commercial/residential trash collection system to be collected with a one-man operation.
• Council approved for City Manager Barry Sullivan to execute a 48-month lease agreement with PNC Equipment Finance LLC for the lease of 25 golf carts in the amount of $1651.50 per month. The bid for the golf carts was awarded in February 2013 to EZ-GO Golf Cart Company, which subsequently presented a third-party lease (finance) agreement through PNC Equipment Finance LLC. PNC requested city council to officially authorize the lease agreement with them.
• Council adopted the rate review mechanism (RRM) for the Mid-Tex division of Atmos Energy Corporation, which will be the rate tariff in effect for a four-year period from 2013 to 2017. The new rate tariff allows for moderated rate adjustment over the period by Atmos Mid-Tex without a full rate case filing. The RRM tariff process was originally approved by Atmos Cities Steering Committee (ASCS) member cities (including Gainesville) as part of the settlement agreement resolving the Atmos Mid-Tex 2007 system-wide rate filing at the Railroad Commission. ACSC recommended approval of the new RRM tariff by all ACSC member cities. Under the revised RRM tariff, Atmos Mid Tex has agreed to no increase to the residential customer charge in the first filing, and in subsequent years, the residential customer charge will not increase by more than 50 cents per month. The RRM becomes effective Oct. 15.
• Council approved and authorized Sullivan to execute closing documents for the sale of two areas of land measuring 13.169 acres and 2.6274 acres, owned by the city at Moss Lake. The city received bids for the properties; Steve Watson of Argyle submitted the high bid of $801,500 and $235,000, respectively. Sullivan recommended the sale to Watson, allowing 30 days for due diligence and 30 days for closing. The funds will be placed in the general fund as “restricted cash,” which can be used for any projects that are voted for by council.
• Council approved the firm of Kimley-Horn and Associates to design improvements to the wastewater treatment plant. Five engineering firms responded to the request for qualifications on May 10, 2013. Kimley-Horn was recommended as the best choice due to their familiarity with the city’s current system, having completed the master plan for the facility. The project consists of improvements to the existing wastewater treatment plant located on South Weaver Street in order to position the city to meet new Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requirements.
• Council awarded a contract in the amount of $130,303 to Griffith Roofing Company for installation of a new roof on the Gainesville Civic Center. The five bids received were evaluated through weighted criteria by city staff to provide the best value for the city. Based on their submitted qualifications, Griffith Roofing Company was selected due to having completed many similar projects, experience with working with cities, and ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.