By Cassidy Pate, News Editor
Belton City Council met for their last regular meeting of the year on Tuesday at the Harris Community Center.
Before calling the meeting to order, Belton Mayor Marion Grayson congratulated Belton Tourism Manager Judy Garrett and Director of Parks and Recreation Matt Bates for their successful efforts on the annual Christmas on the Chisholm Trail that occurred on Saturday.
“Who needs Hallmark when you have Belton,” Grayson said.
Mike Rodgers, Belton’s newest Finance Director, gave a few words of appreciation to the council for being given the opportunity to serve the Belton community in this capacity.
Shay Luedeke, Bell County Tax Accessor Collector, presented $23,014.65 in Child Safety Fee funds, which is $400 more than last year.
City Manager Sam Listi presented Assistant Director of Finance Susan Allamon and the City of Belton Finance Department with a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for FY 2018 for the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).
Director of Planning Cheryl Maxwell discussed a final plat of The Ridge at Belle Meadows, wherein 36.266 acres with multiple purposes are being suggested.
A variance request was presented for a reduction of a front yard setback from 25’ to 20’ for single family lots in Blocks 3 and 4. In addition, the parkland dedication/fee requirement for Blocks 1 and 2 was considered with two options: 1) a Certificate of Occupancy for the duplex development will not be allotted until each of its amenities are prepared, or 2) until the park fee of $24,000 per 120 duplex units is paid and positioned in a private account with a required park fee of $8,200 for 41 single family units being proposed for Phase I of the project.
Director of Public Works/City Engineer Angellia Points stepped to the podium to address the East Street Sidewalk (between E Central and E 1st Ave) project. Points recommended a contract be made between Listi and TTG Utilities for their base bid of $495,337.21. The Belton Economic Development Corporation is responsible for this funding and allocated said funds at their last meeting on Dec. 3.
This project is set to take approximately seven months to construct and will be completed in phases in order to establish Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant sidewalks, widened travel lanes, bicycle racks, motorcycle parking, crosswalks, street lighting and a wheelchair ramp.
City Clerk Amy Casey considered an ordinance permitting the city to craft franchise agreements with six commercial solid waste services, as their current contracts expire on Jan. 26, 2020. Casey recommended a 10-year term be established with each of these companies.
Listi returned to the microphone to address a response to an appeal to purchase the northernmost 30 acres of the former River Valley Golf Couse, which were purchased by the City of Belton on May 8, 2018. Listi recommended that council decline this offer with the justification that 1) the 150 acres acquired for the Heritage Park Master Plan are ideal for fitting future needs, 2) the 30 acres being considered are separate from the 85 acres within the Master Plan, which coincides with 3) the pursuant is offering $33,333 per acre ($1 million for 30 acres), which exceeds the city’s payment of $25,000 per acre. This meaning the city would be required to match the $1 million in order to allow the use of right to purchase.
Because Belton City Council has the First Right of Refusal to purchase 55 plus acres for three years, they unanimously voted to decline the offer set in motion by the property owner’s representation.