Gainesville Daily Register

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February 20, 2014

Council adopts bond to help improve infrastructure

Gainesville — A $10 million general obligation bond for street and road improvements and related infrastructure was adopted during the Tuesday Gainesville City Council (GCC) under ordinance No. 1334-02-2014 and has been set for Saturday, May 10, 2014 at which time voters can vote either “FOR” or “AGAINST”, the proposed package. Early voting will be held between April 28 and May 6, 2014.

  On election day May 10, Charles Woolfolk will serve as presiding judge, and Jane Dudley will serve as alternate judge at the combined polling location at the Civic Center.  Early voting clerks are Kay Lunnon, City Secretary, and Caitlyn Huddleston, as Deputy Clerk. Early voting will take place at City Hall, 200 south Rusk Street.  

Gainesville city manager Barry Sullivan said that the tax impact analysis anticipates a 4.5 percent interest rate for the 20 year $10 million bond issuance.

“The city tax rate is estimated to have a maximum increase of $.069, while the average increase to support the bonds is $.0511 during the 20 year life of the bonds,” Sullivan said. “A fact sheet regarding the bond proposal is posted on the city’s website at www.gaineville.tx.us or a copy will be available at the city facilities and offices.”

Sullivan said that the street and utility maintenance program study in March 2010 outlined the need for $205 million in improvements to street and utility systems including water, sewer and drainage.

“In 2010, the council issued a $4.88 million bond to start the program without raising taxes,” Sullivan reported. “This was possible because the city retired debt during the same year.”

Sullivan said that in 2012, the city retired additional debt and was able to issue a $4.03 million bond to continue street improvements.

Under Gainesville’s five-year capital improvement plan fiscally constrained by the five year budget, the city is working at upgrading the street system using available funds. The proposed $10 million bond will go towards expediting street repairs and related infrastructure established in the street and utility annual budget study. The $10 million is proposed to upgrade the larger sections or roadway that will be difficult to complete within the annual budget.

Sullivan stated that if the citizens decline the bond authorization, the city plans to continue to rebuild the streets that are outlined in the five year capital improvements plan under the annual budgets.

Facts regarding the proposed bond if approved by the voters include: selling the bonds through two issuances of $5 million each in 2014 and 2016; each bond will mature within 20 years of issuance; and the estimated interest rate for the bonds is 4.5 percent.  

In other council matters,  a Star of North Texas certificate of recognition  was presented to Molded Fiber Glass Company (MFG) for their efforts in making timely repairs on Engine 3 of the Gainesville Fire Department.

“Because of their efforts, Engine 3 was out of operation for only a very short time,” Mayor Jim Goldsworthy said. “The certificate expresses the City’s utmost appreciation of MFG for giving of their time and service to benefit Gainesville and the community.”

MFG representative, Matt Huss and Brent Godshaw, were on hand to receive the award on behalf of their company.

 An ordinance no. 1333-02-2014 to approve a zoning district change from general commercial (C-2) to outdoor commercial (C-3) for property identified as 811 East Highway 82.

 Re-zoning was requested by the applicant to allow for outdoor sales as potential uses of the property.

 Barry Sullivan stated that in most cases City staff would not recommend for the re-zoning in this area, but in this case the property is located almost entirely in the flood plain, which causes difficulty for development.  He said that approval of the re-zoning should not set a precedent for future C-3 rezones in the area.

 

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