Stephenville City Council met in regular session on Tuesday evening with a short agenda and quick turnaround time.
The main topic of discussion was a list of recommendations from the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission on amending certain bylaws regarding permitted uses.
At a meeting in May, the board asked the group to review and propose regulatory changes after questions were raised about zoning rules for several types of businesses, in particular a tattoo parlor. and a semi-permanent makeup business. According to the reading of the ordinances, these companies fall into the category of industrial zoning.
The city has around 175 uses permitted in its zoning code, said Steve Killen, director of development services, at the time. “I think there is a lot of room for improvement,” he added.
According to the agenda item, the Planning and Zoning Commission met on May 19 to begin reviewing permitted uses in order to make recommendations to city council.
The commission made the following recommendations, which the board unanimously approved on Tuesday evening:
1. Tattoo Parlor / Piercing Studios – to allow licensed use in Districts B-2 and B-3, withdrawing from industry.
2. Tattoo Parlor / Piercing Studios – to provide licensed use in DT District.
3. Personal service shop (beauty, barber and others) – it is recommended to leave as currently indicated in Zoning Districts B-1, B-2, B-3 and DT.
4. Bed and Breakfast and Bed and Breakfast / Boarding – to be combined into a single use permitted as Bed and Breakfast / Boarding in Zoning Districts B-1, B-3 and DT.
5. Bicycle Sales and Rentals – to enable licensed use in Zoning Districts B-2, B-3 and DT.
6. Bakeries and Confectionery – to combine all permitted bakery related uses, except wholesale and distribution, in retail bakery for Zoning Districts B-1, B-2, B- 3 and DT.
7. Wholesale / distribution bakery – to enable authorized use for the industrial zoning district.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will continue to review the city’s zoning ordinances and make additional recommendations at future meetings.
Monica Harris, the city’s finance manager, reported on the city’s financial situation at the end of April.
“Overall we are in a pretty good position,” said Harris, adding that financial indicators vary with an overall positive result.
• Property tax: The city received $ 26,000 in property taxes in April, which represents an increase of $ 238,000 or 3.82% over funds raised until last April. The 6.47 million dollars collected to date represent 97.41% of the budget, which is slightly lower than the 98.04% planned.
• Sales tax: The city received $ 441,000 in sales taxes in April, or $ 584,000 or 15.58% more than the funds raised last April. The $ 4.3 million collected to date represents 69.46% of the $ 6.24 million budgeted, which is higher than the 57.54% forecast.
• HOT bottoms: Accommodation establishments reported $ 235,300 in hotel occupancy taxes through April, compared to $ 234,600 through April. The city received $ 42,000 in tax on sports venues through April. The city has spent $ 238,000 in HOT funds in the fiscal year to date, up from $ 109,000 last year due to the Day Tripper contract and gateway planning.
• Turnover (budget comparison): The target budget for operating revenue is $ 18.8 million. The city has received $ 19.2 million in revenue to date, which is a $ 409,000 over target due to sales taxes and service charges.
• Expenses (Budget comparison): The target budget for operating expenses is $ 12.1 million. The city has spent $ 11.7 million for the fiscal year to date, which is $ 423,000 under budget.
• Turnover (comparison of the previous year): Operating revenues received last year amounted to $ 18.5 million compared to $ 19.2 million for the current year, resulting in an increase of $ 776,000 due to property taxes, sales taxes and service charges.
• Expenses (comparison of the previous year): Last year’s operating expenses were $ 10.9 million compared to the current year’s 11.7 million, resulting in an increase of $ 835,000 due to costs associated with prevention from COVID-19, to the stimulus grant to reduce the impact of COVID-19, to damage claims, wages, advertising and gateway planning.
Citizen budget requests
Bob Self, a longtime Stephenville resident and former city employee, spoke to council about the city’s retirement fund.
Self said city council in 2017 removed a COLA (cost of living allowance) from the fund that gave retired employees a little extra income each year.
Self said about 110 retired city workers are currently drawing from the fund and called on city council to consider reinstating the increase in the cost of living in its next budget cycle.
City Manager Allen Barnes noted that city council committee meetings are scheduled for June 15 and the next regular council session is scheduled for July 6.
He also noted that Moo-La Fest is underway and the city will be holding its July 4 festivities on Saturday July 3 this year due to the holiday that falls on a Sunday. The city offices will be closed on Monday July 5, due to the public holiday.
“It’s good to see some new faces here (at the meeting),” Pro Mayor Tem Brandon Huckabee said before adjourning the meeting. “It’s always good to be involved in your city government and in your county government. This is where you can have the most impact.”
For more information on the board meeting and the agenda outlining the items discussed and voted on, visit www.stephenvilletx.gov/citycouncil/page/regular-city-council-meeting