Jan. 8, 2019 - City Council welcomed 2019 with a brisk agenda of bond issue contracts, budgetary housekeeping, and review of the Donation/Collection Box Ordinance.
Juli Richards of the Murphy Chamber of Commerce informed Council of the upcoming Black and White Gala, the annual awards banquet, on January 25th at the Hyatt in Garland. Richards also informed Council that the annual Spring Fever event would be held on March 30th.
Kayla McFarland, Murphy’s Special Events Coordinator, gave an update on Christmas in the Park. The event was cold and wet, suppressing some of the cheer. However, 19 parade entries yielded a total of 85 people with about 45 route watchers. Two winners were selected for the best parade entries. The first trophy went to First Baptist Church of Murphy for best civic group. The business trophy went to Foot Ankle Consultants of Texas for their gingerbread house. Post parade crowds were estimated around 650 (about half of last year) due to the cold and wet weather, but yielded an increase in volunteers for the event. Vendors that attended the event, including the two food trucks, reported doing well. Santa was popular, posing for photos with 175 families. The tree decorating contest was won by the Murphy Veterans’ Tribute group, and the decorating theme was recycled plastic bags.
Staff reports from City Manager Mike Castro consisted of upcoming events. The 3rdAnnual Daddy-Daughter Dance will be Feb. 16, and on Feb. 23, the Rainbow Trout Roundup will again take place.
Mayor Pro Tem Berthiaume brought forth a request to review and discuss the Unattended Donation and Collection Box Ordinance on behalf of World Wear Project, LLC, which is a donation bin operator working with PISD McMillen High School, Murphy Middle School and Boggess Elementary School. They indicated great difficulty in complying with several requirements. The requirements were decided somewhat arbitrarily, with comparable ordinances in other cities seemingly arbitrary as well. The lettering sizes, copied from state law, combined with the city ordinance’s abundant notice information requirements, led to an unintended consequences of total coverage of wording on the box sides. This result is in conflict with Council’s intentions to make the boxes visually appealing and not become a blight on the landscape. Size of the box, in combination with the amount of notice information required, will be reviewed by staff and brought back in the first February meeting with a red-lined ordinance.
Unspent General Obligation Bond funds were moved to the FY19 budget with passage of Ordinance Number 19-01-1110.
Passage of Resolution Number 19-R-902 adopted the written investment policy for investment of City funds, and designating one or more City employees as investment officers to be responsible for the investment of City funds consistent with the investment policy. Council directed the Finance Director to take a more active investment approach, while developing a third investment officer. An internal control of a majority vote among three officers will be required for investment decisions when an expansion of officers occurs.
Two contracts were approved for execution. The first was Resolution Number 19-R-903 in the amount of $99,650 for the construction of General Obligation Bond Project No. 2018-04, McWhirter Road Culvert and Drainage Improvements. The project is expected to take 90 days from project start. The second, Resolution Number 19-R-904 is for the purchase of audio visual equipment and professional installation services in the amount of $159,516.90 through the TIPS-USA Purchasing Contract Number 171001.