Council members take oath of office, then get down to business
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

July 6, 2005 -- Sulphur Springs City Secretary administered the oath of office to returning Place 6 Councilman Chris Brown and newly elected Place 7 Councilwoman Yolanda Williams to start off the council's July meeting Tuesday evening.

After seating the new and returning members, the council set out to work its way through an agenda that included zoning changes, resolutions, bids and appointments.

On second and final reading, approval was given to a request by M&F Western Wear for a zoning change at 220 Shannon Road from heavy commercial to light commercial to allow for construction of a new retail store. The current retail store will become warehouse space for the manufacturer.

The council also approved Sulphur Springs Ford's request for a zoning change for property east of Gossett Lane to allow for construction of new dealership home for the auto dealer.

Council also approved the replat of property between Gilmer and Davis streets and south of Spring Street, requested by John Cooper of Cooper Land Surveying. Cooper is planning to construct new offices for his surveying company on the site.

As a procedural matter, City Manager Marc Maxwell was authorized to sign contracts and agreements with Texas Department of Transportation as part of the application process for grants to fund airport projects.

Maxwell told council members the resolution was a required step in obtaining the state funding of new hangars and taxiways at the airport.

The grants, totaling $220,000 will be matched with local funds -- 25 percent for hangar construction and 10 percent for runway construction -- expected to total between $60,000 and $70,000, according to Peter Karstens, city finance director.

In other action, an ordinance adopting the National Incident Management System was approved by the council.

Police Chief Jim Bayuk told the council the NIMS ordinance was required by the Office of Homeland Security and would enable the city, in the event of a major disaster, to get support and assistance from the federal level.

The city manager added that it was necessary for the ordinance to be adopted for the city to be eligible to participate in any federal grant programs.

A resolution identifying the boundaries for the Downtown Revitalization District was approved by the council. The area identified for the district extends from the Gilmer Street-Oak Avenue split on the south to Fleming Street, two blocks north of the Courthouse Square. From east to west, the district will extend from Jackson Street on the east to Davis Street on the west with additional areas reaching to Magnolia Street, TJ Alley and Mulberry Street to include the downtown business area.

The residential areas included in the zone will include period homes constructed in the early 1900s. Future construction and development in the area would have to conform to those styles.

In other business, council members were asked to correct an appointment made last month to the board of directors of the Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation.

The council last month appointed Carl Bryan to the board. Bryan, however, is in the middle of a term that expires in June of next year. The council named Tom Sellers to fill the vacancy on that board.

Jonathan Cooper and Clayton McGraw were named to serve on the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The council agreed with the city manager's recommendation that strong representation was needed on the board of Sulphur River Municipal Water District. Marc Maxwell told the council he would like to be appointed to the water district board, and members unanimously granted his wish.

The council also accepted low bids for materials for construction on Holiday Drive from South Broadway to a point behind the Lowe's Store.

The city manager told the council that the construction is budgeted at just more than $240,000 and will be paid through a grant from the Texas Capital Fund Grant program.

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