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Willow Park workshop, city council meetings 9/20/10

September 20, 2010 by Dominic Genetti

Willow Park City Hall
11:51p.m.-No action taken in executive session. Meeting adjourned.

10:46p.m. After short discussions, the council goes into executive session.

10:37p.m.-The Pyle and Fawcett additions are new developments coming to Willow Park. Hawkins just said that Gordon Swift is the engineer for the developer of that project who is out of San Francisco. Because Swift is also the Senior City Engineer, it would be a conflict of interest for him to review the plats on behalf of the city. Hawkins then raised questions as to how the city could afford a consulting engineer given next year's budget.

10:30p.m.-Council had nothing to discuss in the engineer's report. They are now discussing a determination of the adequacy of existing water and wastewater infrastructure to accommodate full development build out in the Pyle and Fawcett additions. City Attorney Rider Scott is addressing council. This too is only a discussion item.

10:27p.m.-Council is hearing a report from engineer Jeff Ground of LAN Engineering. Hawkins asked Ground to speak in regard to Willow Crossing Drive. This is a discussion item only.

10:25p.m.-Council approves the Right-of-Way Dedication Plat for Willow Bend Drive and Willow Crossing Drive.

10:21-Hawkins says he wants the council to start considering the suggestions of the planning and zoning commission and that he does not want the council to be a second planning and zoning commission. Earlier this year in February, Hawkins wanted to disband the P&Z and give the tasks to council.

10:18p.m.-Councilman Mark Hickerson is raising questions about water drainage issues along the new road developments behind Brookshire's near the Aledo baseball fields. He says it's an issue that needs to be addressed by Gordon Swift, the city engineer.

10:11p.m.-Council is discussing a Right-of-Way Dedication Plat for Willow Bend Drive and Willow Crossing Drive.

10:10p.m.-Mayor says it is too late for a mayor's update. His update was to include his relationship with the press.

10:06p.m.-Bearcat Stadium officials are also asking for funding from the city's tourism fund.

9:55p.m.-East Parker County Library is asking the council to continue donating from the tourism fund. Willow Park has been giving $10,000 annually to the library in recent years.

9:48p.m.-Council meeting for October moved to the second Monday of the month. Oct. 11.

9:45p.m.-Mayor Ken Hawkins says ParkFest was cancelled due to the construction along Stagecoach Trail. The mayor said it was a "difficult decision" to make.

9:43p.m.-Council meeting has come to order.

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9:27p.m.-Workshop adjourned. Council meeting to begin in 10 minutes.

9:20p.m.-Hawkins says the fire department has their money back, but expresses that next year's budget is too optimistic.

9:17p.m.-Hawkins is asking City Administrator Candy Scott to lower the engineering budget to $65,000 and see how much money is left to give to the fire department.

9:14p.m.-Martin suggests to not budget for many engineering expenses. The citizens again erupt into a much louder applause.

9:10p.m.-Citizen Judy Ratzlaff acknowledges Brown's mentioning that the numbers in the budget raise questions as to whether or not the fire department should get more money.

9:02 p.m.-Martin tells the mayor that council is "cutting into the bone" of the budget. "We're already in pretty bad shape," he said. Hawkins backed up Martin saying that $40,000 would be hard to find to give the fire department.

8:50p.m.-Hawkins suggests that citizens in attendance form a committee that will report to council with feedback and ways to raise funds for the fire department.

8:49p.m.-Martin is suggesting a newsletter to the citizens to explain where city government stands financially.

8:43p.m.-A brief argument between Hawkins and Councilman Gene Martin settles after the mayor said he doesn't appreciate sarcasm. The council was discussing the fire department's budget.

8:40p.m.-Councilman Barry Brown is suggesting that with new emergency services coming to the city that more money needs to be available to the fire department for the next fiscal year. The fire department is going to be out $40,000 for the 2010 fiscal year. Hawkins said the question is, "Do we have the dollars to do it?" "We have got to balance the budget," the mayor said. "I don't want to promise any more than I think we can give."

8:32p.m.-Hawkins calls the fire department the "weakest part of the budget." He said it is not time for optimism in the budget. "I don't know what we can do (for the fire department)," the mayor said. He also stressed to support local business and expressed hope that the economy doesn't get weaker. To sum things up, however, Hawkins said that 2010 will be the "last hard year for the city for the next decade."

8:28p.m.-Hawkins says the city as at a point where they can "bottle" the budget for next year. He said the city will use the effective tax rate of 47.5 and wants a monthly report throughout the first quarter.

8:18p.m.-City hall chambers erupts into applause after a citizen in the audience tells the mayor she would take a tax increase to keep the emergency safety and response in the city. Witherow again expressed the severity of the low budget coming to the fire department.

8:17 p.m.-Hawkins hopes to have the tax rate set next week.

8:08 p.m.-Discussions have grown soft as the council tries to figure out tax percentages and a predicted balance for the overall budget.

7:44p.m.-To help the budget, Hawkins says the city may have to implement a 2.8 cent tax increase per house hold.

7:39 p.m.-Willow Park Fire Chief Jim Witherow tells council and the mayor that the forecasted budget for the fire department is a "significant reduction" in emergency services. In quick response, Hawkins said, "Noted."

7:30 p.m.-Tatum tells council and the mayor, "The dynamics of the economy are going to fluctuate over the next couple of months." Tatum suggests that if the city manages the budget month to month, they could end at zero at the end of the 2010 fiscal year.

7:13 p.m.-Councilman Barry Tatum asks Hawkins why there have been new financial predictions and figures every Monday the council has been meeting over the past four weeks. Councilman Gene Martin and the mayor explaining the reasoning.

7:06 p.m.-City Attorney Rider Scott has advised council that as a general law city, Willow Park city government cannot implement certain surcharges for city-issued bills (i.e. water) however, a home-rule city-a city with more than 5,000 in population-can use that authority. Scott said if the town charter indicated such an implication of surcharges then it would be legal for Willow Park to do so, despite their city status as a general law city.

6:56 p.m.-Hawkins tells citizens in attendance, "we have not been projecting accurately" in certain budgeted categories. The council has had workshop and special city council meeting over the past four weeks.

6:46 p.m.-Mayor Ken Hawkins says the city will be $293,000 to $334,000 overdrawn in 2009. The 2009 fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

6:40 p.m.-Budget workshop called to order.

6:33 p.m.-The council and city department heads have gathered for a budget workshop where they will be discussing the fiscal year budgets of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. The 2010 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Follow us with constant updates tonight for the Willow Park workshop and regular city council meeting. You may want to refresh your page frequently.

Sports Calendar

Monday, November 24

  • Aledo Bearcats at Saginaw, B 3:00 p.m., A 6:00 p.m., JV 4:30 p.m. and Varsity 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 25

  • Aledo Bearcats vs. Timbercreek at Aledo High School, B 1:30 p.m., A 12:00 p.m., JV 1:30 p.m., and Varsity 3:00 p.m.

  • Aledo Ladycats vs. Birdville at Aledo High School, Freshmen 8 p.m., JV 5 p.m. and Varsity 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 2

  • Aledo Bearcats vs. Birdville, B 6 p.m., A 4:30 p.m., JV 6 p.m. and Varsity 7:30 p.m.

  • Aledo Ladycats at Springtown, Freshmen 5:30 p.m., JV 5:30 p.m. and Varsity 7 p.m.

Thursday, December 4

  • Aledo Ladycats Freshmen and JV at Mineral Wells Invitational

  • Aledo Bearcats B, A, JV and Varsity at Weatherford New Car Dealers Tournament

  • Aledo Ladycats Varsity at Fort Worth Cowtown Classic

Tuesday, December 9

  • Aledo Bearcats vs. Stephenville at Aledo High School, B 6 p.m., A 4:30 p.m., JV 6 p.m. and Varsity 7:30 p.m.

  • Aledo Ladycats at Granbury, Freshmen 5 p.m., JV 5 p.m. and Varsity 6:30 p.m., *District Game

Thursday, December 11

  • Aledo Bearcats B, A, JV and Varsity at Decatur Tournament

Monday, December 15

  • Aledo Bearcats vs. Southwest at Aledo High School, B 5 p.m., A 5 p.m. and JV 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 16

  • Aledo Ladycats vs. Cleburne at Aledo High School, Freshmen 5 p.m., JV 5 p.m. and Varsity 6:30 p.m., *District Game

Friday, December 19

  • Aledo Bearcats vs. Joshua at Aledo High School, A 8 p.m., JV 5 p.m. and Varsity 6:30 p.m., *District Game

  • Aledo Ladycats vs. Joshua at Aledo High School, Freshmen 6:30 p.m., JV 5 p.m. and Varsity 8 p.m., *District Game

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