A proclamation was read during Tuesday's City Commission meeting, declaring the month of November as "Report Animal Abuse Month".
Sweetwater Mayor Greg Wortham read the document, which cited that the issue of animal abuse must be taken seriously not only for the sake of animals, but due to the fact that studies have proven a link between animal abuse and other criminal activity.
Animal abusers are five times more likely to commit further violent crimes, four times as likely to commit property crimes, and four times as likely to commit drug crimes.
Additionally, 70% of violent criminals began their criminal activity with animal abuse, while 46% of rapists first abused animals. 70% of victims of domestic violence had their own animals abused, and 30% of child abuse offenders also abused animals.
In turn, children who abuse animals are twice as likely to commit violent crimes. The mayor concluded by encouraging citizens to report any and all animal abuse cases to local authorities.
Also during the meeting, the first reading was held to amend Section 25-63 of Article IV in Chapter 25 in the local Code of Ordinances. This would establish a fee to be incorporated in the city's annual central rate schedule.
The current fee is $50, but according to City Manager Eddie Brown, the amount does not adequately cover costs. The central rate schedule has set the new fee at $250. The second reading will take place at the December 10 meeting.
The commissioners also approved the authorization of the Notice of Intention Resolution (NOI) to issue the $1,935,000--a combination of tax and limited pledge revenue--Certificate of Obligation. The approval is the first step within the timeline of events toward the Hunter Well Field project--in which the funding was applied for from the Texas Water Development Board.
Furthermore, approval was given toward a resolution amending the authorized representatives for Tex Pool Investments, which would allow city staff members Eddie Brown, Lisa Adames and Patty Torres to serve as representatives of the city. The nomination of Ben High as the city's appointee for the board of the Central Appraisal District of Nolan County was also approved, as well as the minutes from the meeting held on October 8, 2013.