The Red Oak City Council unanimously approved holding public hearings on Aug. 27 and Sept. 10 for the fiscal year 2018-19 budget and tax rate during Monday night's meeting.
Sept. 10 would be the final vote on the budget, while Sept. 17 would be the final vote on the tax rate.
After proclaiming the week of Sept. 17 as Constitution Week and awarding certificates to representatives of CNB of Texas and the Oaks Church, Mayor Mark Stanfill led the Red Oak City Council into its regular session, where its discussions included the FY2018-19 tax rate and budget.
The council previously proposed and approved consideration for a maximum tax rate of .705480 per $100 valuation during their upcoming hearings, a four-cent increase from the year’s previous rate of .6490.
Lightfoot explained that the council was not voting on the tax rate Monday night, but rather the public hearings where they will discuss the proposed rate.
“This is not a vote on the tax rate,” Lightfoot reinforced. “This is just the maximum rate that we may consider.”
The council also unanimously approved adding CIGNA Dental under the city’s current health insurance policy, as well as renewing medical coverage with CIGNA Health & Life Insurance Company.
Additionally, the council voted unanimously to raise internet costs to approximately $4,000 a month to switch AT&T ethernet services from microwave to fiber lengths. Information Technology Director John Binford said with businesses growing, microwave lengths get swarmed with traffic and cause signal interruption and interference.
Binford said that implementing fiber lengths would resolve most of those issues.
“Of course that costs more,” Binord said. “But that’s the cost of doing business in a growing city.”
The council also considered and unanimously approved a variety of zoning changes in the city.
One of those is the implementation of a Hospital Corporation of America emergency room on 2.1 acres south of Ovilla Road and east of Crockett Lane, while another change approved approximately .296 acres on 305 N IH35E to allow an indoor restaurant development.
The council also voted to remove the use of “Office Showroom/Warehouse” from Highway Oriented zoning districts from its Subdivision and Zoning Ordinance. Additionally, the council approved a preliminary plat for 72 acres of 152 single-family lots on Creekbend Addition and 72 acres of developments on Camden Park.
The council held a public hearing on the voluntary annexation of 210.29 acres of land owned by James M. Brown to the city for all intensive purposes. A second hearing took place on Tuesday night, and the annexation will be voted on during the council's Sept. 10 meeting.
David Dunn, @DavidDunnInTX