RED OAK — With former finance director Miykael Reeve accepting a position as the auditor for Ellis County, Red Oak Mayor Alan Hugley and City Manager Todd Fuller formally introduced the city’s new finance director, Ginger Richardson, during this week's Red Oak City Council meeting.

Before coming to Red Oak, Richardson was both the city secretary and city finance director for Corsicana. Prior to Corsicana, she was the assistant finance director for Waxahachie.

The second of two required public hearings for the ad valorem tax rate of $0.649 per $100 of valuation for the 2017-18 tax year was also held.

“This is the same tax rate we have had since 2011," Reeve said.

There was no council action on the proposed tax rate. A special called meeting to be held on Sept. 18th will be held to approve the tax rate.

The first of two public hearings was held to listen to requests made by Shawn Bhagadt, who is the owner of U.S. Realty and operates the Shell Convenience Store located west of South Central Boulevard (State Highway 342) and south of the main street connector.

The zoning request is to allow the expansion of the convenience store by removing the existing building and construction a new commercial building on the site. The new building will be constructed of brick with stucco and stone features. It would also include landscaping.

“We have a concern over traffic in the area,” Fuller said. He added, “The P&Z Commission unanimously recommended approval with some concerns over the traffic at the State Highway 342 driveway."

Based upon the P&Z discussion, city staff reviewed the site plans and made recommendations for alternate driveway revisions. The first was to reduce the width of the driveway along SH 342 from 150 feet to 120 feet by extending the landscaping area. The other recommendation was to remove three parking spaces located at the southeast corner of the building and to convert those three spaces into a landscape island.

The zoning request passed unanimously.

Staying on the topic of public hearings, the second public hearing regarding a development that would sell beer and wine for off-site consumption inside the city's required 300-foot perimeter of a public school.

The variance request to the city ordinance is needed due to the new establishment being 150 feet away from school property. The location is across State Highway 342 from Red Oak High School.

The council members unanimously approved the ordinance code request.

A public hearing was also held for public comment on the proposed 2017-2018 annual operating budget. The budget that has been submitted for approval has no changes to what was discussed in the Budget workshop.

"After the final numbers are approved, I will complete the final budget document for submission to GFOA for the award and Send out to staff,” Reeve said.

The council unanimously adopted the budget.

An ordinance approving the issuance of City of Red Oak Series 2017 tax note was unanimously approved. With the issuance of the tax note, the city will finance $759,873 to pay for street improvements, equipment, vehicles and municipal facilities improvements.

The first interest and principal payments will be due on Feb. 15, 2019. The maturity date is scheduled for Feb. 15, 2024.

The adoption of a resolution awarding a paving contract to G-Rod Construction was unanimously approved. The project will concrete pave Burney Street.

“Burney Lane is a frequently used road as it leads to the Wal-Mart parking lot and the shopping center east of Burney Lane. Burney Lane has 300 linear feet of concrete from the intersection of Ovilla Road. The remainder is asphalt which is deteriorating and needs to be repaired. Concrete roads have a longer lifespan than asphalt roads by approximately 20 years, “ Fuller said.

Fuller added, “The City Staff has elected to use the lowest bidder’s concrete unit cost of $75 per square yard and extend the repair limits to just north of the existing Wal-Mart Drive which bears the burden of the majority of the traffic on Burney within Red Oak’s city limits."

Other Council action:

Adoption of a resolution approving candidate nominations for the Ellis County Appraisal District for the years of 2018-2019.

Approved a zoning change to allow a senior citizen living development and regulations for an approximate 16.28 acres.

Approval of a zoning change from agriculture to residential use with a specific use permit to allow an accessory building addition to an existing building. The council approved the request with the requirement that the front of the building is 100 percent brick, the three remaining sides are 75 percent brick and the second level of the existing building not be used for living quarters.

Approved the conditions of the general master services agreement between the city and Westfall engineering for professional services.

Approved a resolution rescinding the approval of a project with Kimley-Horn and Associates. For a revision of the city’s water and sanitary sewer criteria Manual for the design of water and sanitary sewer lines to current standards.

Approved a resolution for accepting and approving a task order with Westfall Engineering as a part or the master agreement for continuing professional services between the City of Red Oak and Westfall engineering for their work for a revision of the city’s water and sanitary sewer criteria Manual for the design of water and sanitary sewer lines to current standards.

Approved an expenditure by the Red Oak Industrial Development corporation for an Individual Project order (IPO) agreement by and between the ROIDC and Westfall Engineering.

Adopted a resolution naming the Ellis County Press as the primary official newspaper and the Waxahachie Daily Light as the alternate.