Tax rate approved, new sports complex part of Parks Plan

By: 
JOSEPH GRANT
Lead Staff Reporter

The City Commission of the City of Sweetwater, Texas, met in regular session on Tuesday, September 26 at 9:00 a.m. in the City Commission Room at City Hall, 200 E. 4th Street, Sweetwater.
The City Commission voted and approved the tax rate of $0.497423 (cents) per $100 valuation. This tax rate will raise more taxes for maintenance and operations than last year’s tax rate by $4,642, which is a 0.21 percent increase.
The City also adopted the plan for a new sports complex.
The proposed Parks Master Plan proposal would include recommended priorities in these capital improvement projects. One of the highest priorities would be a proposed new sports complex on the south side of the city that would have a cost estimate of $9,081,488. This new sports complex would include eight baseball/softball fields, four soccer/football fields, practice fields, as well as other amenities. This estimate does not include land acquisition cost.
The Commission considered and gave the second and final reading of an Ordinance fixing and levying a tax rate for the tax year 2017 upon all taxable city property within the corporate city limits of the City of Sweetwater, Texas. This year’s proposed tax rate of $0.497423 (cents) does not exceed the effective tax rate. This tax rate will raise more taxes for maintenance and operations than last year’s tax rate.
The Commission ratified the vote on the tax rate reflected in the 2017-2018 Annual Budget of the City of Sweetwater.
The Commissioners then heard a presentation from Josh Donaldson of Halff Associates on the ten year Parks Master Plan, and discussed, considered and acted upon the resolution adopting the 2017 Sweetwater Parks Master Plan.
The Vision Statement is that Sweetwater will foster the growth of their park system as a means to lead the City’s quality of life investments by providing enjoyable opportunities for recreation and leisure, while meeting the needs of all residents. City parks should provide a platform for community pride by showcasing the friendliness and inclusiveness of Sweetwater residents, and in turn attract new residents and visitors from the greater region.
The Project Scope was given regarding the Master Plan Development. The goal is development of community goals and objectives for the park system. The plan has a minimum ten year horizon. Donaldson went over such items as the implementation plan and the publicly supported actionable blueprint for the city. The project is in compliance with the Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan.
There are six essential public benefits from this Parks Plan proposal. The plan would lead to more active and healthy lifestyles, contribute to a sense of community, be a safe haven for youth, increase tourism, contribute to the economy of Sweetwater and promote conservation.
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