City Council Approves Design Grant
March 6, 2018 - Council heard a couple of presentations and approved a grant for design of a Veterans Memorial. An annual rate review mechanism for the utilities from Atmos Energy and funding a maintenance program were also considered.
In upcoming events, Dr. Castro, City Manager, told of a busy month of April for the city including Keep Murphy Beautiful Recycle Event, Moonlight Movies, a Low Cost Vaccine Clinic, a Drug Take Back, and Tunes, Tails & Ales, see the city’s upcoming events page for times and locations. Also, the Murphy Chamber of Commerce advertised their Spring Fever on Saturday April 14th in the Lowe’s parking lot.
A large contingent of young artists showed up to be recognized at the presentation of the 5th Annual Recycle Truck Art Contest Awards Ceremony. Bailey Ragsdale, Co-Chair of Keep Murphy Beautiful, gave the presentation honoring the 58 participants with 3 place winners and 12 honored entries that will be displayed on the solar powered recycle bins throughout the city. Place winners will have their artwork displayed on recycle trucks in early summer.
The Police interns program presentation was given by Adana Barber, Murphy Police Lieutenant. The program gives seniors at Wylie East and Wylie High schools, who have expressed interest in a law enforcement career, an opportunity to see what the Murphy Police Department provides to the community.
An application of the Murphy Historical Society for a Community Enhancement Grant award to fund design fees associated with the Murphy Veterans Tribute was approved. The Murphy Veterans Tribute task force, which is a subcommittee of the Murphy Historical Society, had requested a $5,000 grant award to hire consultants to produce a concept plan for the site. The estimated cost of the concept plan is $10,000. Additional fundraising resources will be sought to pay the balance of the $10,000 as well as funds for the tribute itself, estimated to be $250,000 - $500,000. The site is a 100’ x 100’ piece of land located north of the amphitheater in Central Park. David Buchanan, Landscape Architect, of Halff Associates will lead the design. Council included a pronouncement that it would like to see an additional grant be sought to assist in getting closer to the initial goal.
Ordinance Number 18-03-1081 was approved authorizing an annual rate review mechanism ("RRM") as a substitution for the annual interim rate adjustment process as negotiated between Atmos Energy Corp., Mid-Tex Division and the steering committee of cities served by Atmos; requiring the company to reimburse cities' reasonable ratemaking expense; Andy Messer, City Attorney presented.
Council discussed authorizing the City Manager to implement a Facilities Capital Maintenance Program for capital projects through Tax Notes, General Fund or a combination of the two. This would create an equipment replacement fund alongside the general and reserve funds. City Manager Castro has 12 yrs. experience in this type of program from his time in Jersey City. The fund would draw from various department’s budgets, creating a maintenance program to correct for deferred maintenance issues. Discussion will continue at the next council meeting after staff received guidance to provide tax rate impact information on the various options provided by Tim Rodgers of the Public Services Department.