Back and forth conversation between council members ended with the denial of an updated ordinance that would allow additional food safety measures for restaurants. After Monday’s regular council meeting, city staff concluded to review the item further.
Building and Community Services Director Ryan Studdard told the council revisions to the new ordinance were made to streamline it. Some of the changes included correlating the city with the 2015 Texas Food Establishment Rules. This standard is established for food safety, cooking, storage and development in food law. Staff also updated language, created a new inspection form, and cut the number of pages in the ordinance. The city currently operates under the 2006 guidelines.
In the briefing session before the regular council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Singleton expressed his distaste for the document. He stated how makes it harder for businesses to operate with the additional regulations. He also praised the efforts by staff to make the material more concise acknowledging this version was much more “cleaner” to understand.
Andrew Burch, who co-owns The Dove’s Nest with his wife Cindy, shared with the council that he is much more comfortable with the updates to the ordinance and with the city’s ability to work with business owners.
During the regular council session, Singleton expressed his opinion that the update was not a right fit for the city and its businesses.
“We have been operating fine and dandy under the 2006 guidelines. This is just bureaucratic oversight. When it is Chili's, and they are building a new place we say, 'come on guys suck it up,'” Singleton said. “But if it is a little guy that is operating with seven or 12 tables and we won't give them consideration, this does not make sense."
Singleton asked Studdard if the update would have provisions for existing business, particularly ones located in historic buildings.
Studdard told Singleton the 2012 building code the city uses and the TFER regulations addresses issues of older buildings. Studdard noted that if an operator needed additional time to implement a costly change that is not life-threatening, the city would work with them.
Mayor Kevin Strength suggested the city needs to look at more options when it comes to historic downtown.
The council voted to deny the ordinance with council member Mary Lou Shipley voting in opposition. Council member Chuck Beatty was not present at Monday's meeting.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE COUNCIL
• Approved a Texas Department of Aviation Grant to construct a security fence at Mid-Way Regional Airport.
• Named Soane Smith as the honorary councilmember for March.
• Presented a proclamation naming April 9 — 13 as Boys and Girls Club week in Waxahachie.
• Approved the annual financial report for the year that ended on Sept. 30, 2017.
• Approved a 10 percent raise for City Manager Michael Scott.
• Approved a proposed contract with Kimley Horn to provide professional engineering services for the design of a new 24-inch water line from the elevated storage tank of FM Road 664 to U.S. Highway 287 Business.
• Approved a resolution authorizing the reimbursement of the operating fund from the proceeds of future debt for professional engineering services associated with a new water line from the elevated storage tank on FM Road 664 to U.S. Highway 287.
• Approved a contract with Kimley Horn to provide professional engineering services of a new 12-inch water line and two pressure reducing valves for the realignment of 791/761 water distribution system service area along FM 813 east of U.S. Highway 287 Bypass to Dean Box Drive to the Sandstone Ranch subdivision.
• Approved a resolution authorizing the reimbursement of the operating fund from proceeds of future debt for professional engineering services for the design of a new 12 inch line and two pressure reducing valves for the realignment of the 791/769 water distribution system service area along FM 813 east of U.S. Highway 287 from Dean Box Drive to the Sandstone Ranch subdivision.