By Lindsay Starr Platt, Correspondent
On May 3 at Belton City Council during the public comments portion of the meeting, a Belton resident spoke on an issue of public safety. The need for lowering the speed limit in certain residential areas was addressed to the council.
“Here in Belton, I noticed that there are no sidewalks where I live on Matador in Dunn’s Canyon residential area,” commented George Barrett, Belton resident. “And without sidewalks, the speed limit should be reduced from 30 to 20 miles per hour. It is dangerous and the kids they do not pay attention to traffic.”
City Manager, City of Belton, Sam Listi presented the consideration for the City Manager to execute an amendment to the lease agreement with Belton Christian Youth Center (BCYC) for the Orenda/ Nolan Creek Charter School. The charter school would be located in the building currently occupied by BCYC and would still be available after school hours to facilitate for after-school care. It is estimated that 40% of students attending the charter school would stay after school and attend BCYC’s after-school program. The motion was carried three-to-one. Council Member, Jerri Gauntt stated her concerns about this motion being the best use of public land.
The routine items on the consent agenda were all approved by city council, to include the minutes of the previous meetings, the reappointment to the Board of Directors of the Texas Dormitory Finance Authority and an amendment in revenues for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) operating budget.
Cynthia Hernandez, Executive Director, Belton Economic Development Corporation, presented to the council the consideration of authorizing a one-year extension of a land grant to the Wire Ropes Development Agreement. The motion was carried and passed unanimously.
The motion was carried to consider authorizing the purchase of software and equipment for the City of Belton to move to a virtual server environment. Chris Brown, Acting Director of Technology, City of Belton, presented to the council that this purchase would be made through the Department of Information Resources contract at a cost of $105,466.
Also approved, was the authorization of Façade Improvement Grants and an amendment to the TIRZ budget. The motion was carried to approve the grants for Cedon Realty, 209 East Central Avenue; Camden Enterprises, 112 North Main Street and Cochran, Blair and Potts, 221 East Central Avenue.
A zoning change from Agricultural to Planned Development Commercial-1 Zoning District was approved for a recreational vehicle (RV) park on the east side of South Interstate Highway 35. Council members agreed this type of development would be much needed to serve the needs of visitors to the Bell County Expo Center and for contract employees that need to stay for several weeks for projects.
Also approved three-to-one was the consideration for the final plat for Hubbard Branch, Phase I. Hubbard Branch is a planned residential development that will be located on the North Side of FM 436, east of Loop 121. Council member, Guantt was opposed stating her concerns on the development lacking parkland and greenspace.
An item on the agenda was rescheduled to May 10 to hold a public hearing to consider the final plat for Highland Estates, Phase III.