Members of the Ferris City Council chose to adopt a resolution to install community markers in the city.
City Manager Dennis Burn presented five options for the city council members to choose from. Option A was an example of a full way finding sign, which Burn brought to the meeting for the city council to look over.
Burn said he couldn't decide on the best route to take and wanted to get the input of the mayor and city council members before moving forward with the project.
"I am seeking direction from you on the community marker concept," Burn said. "I would also like to know which one you prefer."
Councilwoman Carol Wright told Burn there were several things she didn't like about the sign, but would go along with whatever everyone else wanted to do.
"First of all the date is wrong," Wright said pointing out that the date of 1871 was incorrect concerning the founding of Ferris. "It should be 1874. Also, I don't like the curvy top of the sign, it doesn't look anything like brick to me."
She added that she feels the signs shouldn't be too large.
Michael Driggers also serves on the council. He jokingly addressed Wright's point about the signs being smaller by saying, "the signs have to be big so that people your age can read them."
Out of the five choices, Mayor Bill Pardue said he liked option D, which included the date at the top, the Texas star in the middle and the words Ferris, Texas at the bottom. The group then made the decision to accept the D option.
Once the council had made the decision, Burn said he would take their preference and bring back the following items to them for their consideration: pricing of the signs and installation, locations (including a map showing sign locations, destinations labeled on each sign and overall sign dimensions) and a resolution adopting the signs and locations.
Economic Development Director Chuck Dart said the markers were developed by a few of the Main Street board members. He said there will be a total of 12 signs differing in sizes.
The city council approved the use of Mutz Park baseball fields by residents other than those involved in the Ferris Softball Association during a previous meeting. Burn was then given the task of coming up with a reservation permit, reservation rules and regulations. He presented those items to the council and they were approved with the intent that Burn will make some suggested changes.
Mayor Pro Tem Gary Ross was not in full agreement with the cost for the use of the fields. He suggested an increase in the night rate, because of the cost of electricity.
"I think if they are going to be allowed to use the fields at night, they should pay a little bit more to help cover the cost of the lights," Ross said.
Burn said he had already checked on how much it would cost for the use of the lights, and found out that they are being charged approximately $8 per hour.
The council suggested they charge a resident of the city a fee of $150 to use the facilities at night, and a non-resident a fee of $300.
As it pertains to non-residents, council member James Starr said he didn't really like the idea of allowing people who didn't live in Ferris to use the facility.
"I definitely think that if we're going to open it up for people who live outside the city, we should definitely charge more," Starr said. "They aren't contributing to the taxes of this city, therefore they should be required to pay more."
Carol Wright said she was concerned about the lack of flexibility of the scheduling
Pardue looked over the suggested information and said there are three booking periods and a short period of four hours at night will cost just as much as an all day event. He suggested that Burn add another row to cover the tournament aspect of the usage of the facility, and that they should also add a no-smoking clause.
City council members also approved the Walton Group Annexation Ordinance during Monday night's meeting, which was recommended by Burn. He went over the timeline and actions that have been taken by the council prior to Monday night's meeting. On May 20 the city council approved a resolution accepting and granting a petition for strip annexation. On May 23 the city published two public hearings and public notices on its website. At the June 3 council meeting, they conducted two public hearings. He said the final step in the process is to approve the ordinance annexing a strip around the Walton property.
In other action the city council members chose to:
• Approve an ordinance that allows for the placing of stop signs that were put at South Baker and East 7th on the city's previous list of approved stop signs.
• Approve a resolution that will allow an Atmos Energy Rate Review Mechanism, which is used to expedite the rate review process in order to facilitate its annual changes in gas utility rates.
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