City dam upkeep begins

The City Commissioners met for a regular meeting on Tuesday morning, June 14, 2011 at City Hall.The minutes from the monthly meeting held on May 17 and the Budget Retreat on May 12 were both approved, as well as the Mid-Year Agreed Upon Procedures report presented by Certified Public Accountant Cathrine Wilks. The report covered the fiscal period which ended on March 31 of this year, and out of six areas, all were reported as good with no exceptions.Also approved was the second and final reading of the ordinance in regards to a rate increase from ONCOR. The negotiated settlement of $136.7 million will result in a raise in rates averaging $2.35 per month for residential customers. Though the first reading was approved in last month's meeting, the approval of the second reading formally makes the matter official.A representative of ONCOR was present at the meeting, in which City Manager Eddie Brown allowed a two-minute update about the company's ongoing projects, which were reported as having positive progress. One major briefing was that the area installation of the new smart readers is almost completed.In more ONCOR-related business, an approval was made toward continued participation with the 150-city steering committee of cities served by ONCOR. Authorization was given for payment of 10 cent per capita to the committee for funding and activities.In addition, an approval was given for a resolution of the city to amend the triggering criteria for Stage 1 of the Drought Contingency Plan. Approved at last month's meeting as an amendment only, the approval as a resolution formally presents the use of a well field into the first stage.More action items included the approval of executing a cable television franchise fee payment compliance service agreement with Suddenlink. A resolution was also approved which authorizes Mayor Greg Wortham to continue to execute contracts with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services which serves as a local benefit toward SNAP.The City Commission also approved the interlocal agreement between the City of Sweetwater and Nolan County for the purchase of a pontoon boat. County officials had already approved the purchase agreement at their meeting on Monday, June 13, which will be used jointly by the Fire Department and the Nolan County Sheriff's Office for search and rescue efforts.More collaboration between the two local entities was seen as the Nolan County Commissioners joined the City Commission at City Hall for a special session meeting to discuss the possibilities of constructing a new law enforcement center.In the City Manager's report, Brown stated that sales revenues continued to rebound in this fiscal year. May's sales tax remittance from the state was up 3% from the prior year and 9% year to date.A report on the maintenance, weed eating and mowing of city dams was given as well. Upkeep on Oak Creek was completed on Monday, with progress scheduled to start on Lake Sweetwater and touchups to be made at Lake Trammell. Progress was also reported as city staff continues preparations of the 2011-12 budget.Furthermore, preliminary property values were reported with an increase of $15,331,776 from the previous year. A Tax Rate Hearing will commence upon receipts of final valuation and Truth-in-Taxation instructions.City officials also met with TXDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) on May 18 in order to discuss current issues and projects. The meetings were stated as very informative, including information on an upcoming resurfacing project.A change was noted in regards to access the drop off center, in that a Texas Driver's License and local address will now be sufficient, in comparison to previously needing a water bill for access. Also, if necessary, survey results will be reviewed for an ordinance prohibiting trucks, boats and RV's to park on the street. City staff is also working with the Chamber of Commerce to relocate the Trail of Lights displays and lighting. At the present time, a metal shop building at Newman Park is being used but is completely full.