Published May 29, 2014
By Patrick Lacombe, Journal reporter
Marion Grayson presided over her first Council Meeting as Belton’s Mayor Tuesday night.
The first order of business was the presentation of a $2,000 scholarship from Waste Management Inc. to Belton High School student Meredith Rowe. Rowe wrote the winning essay on recycling and plans to attend Texas A&M in the fall.
Next was the swearing-in ceremony for two new Belton Police officers, Scott Rowe and Gene Cole, III. They were pinned by family members and welcomed to the force by Chief of Police Gene Ellis and the Council.
Chief Ellis and Fire Chief Francisco Corona were recognized for their support during the inaugural Army Marathon and The Army Marathon II.
In other business, the council considered a resolution authorizing the City to opt in to the Texas Department of Housing and community affairs HOME Single Family Program reservation system. The program helps low income residents re-build homes that are not able to be renovated. Eligibility requirements will be determined at a later date.
The Council also authorized a zoning change for a shooting range which will be built on a 12.96 acre tract of land located East of East Central Avenue and West of I-35. The range will be used as a Regional firearms training facility for the Belton Police Department and other area agencies. The range received overwhelming support from other area law enforcement and the zoning change was approved. The range will be built in 3 phases and will include a tactical weapons training area and an emergency driving training area.
The council also approved a final plat for the second addition to Highland Oaks located on the corner of East Avenue M and Highland Drive.
A preliminary plat was approved for the Southwood Hills subdivision located on the West side of Connell street north of West Loop 121. The council voiced their concerns about parking along Shally Way Street impeding traffic including emergency vehicles. Planning Director Erin Newcomer assured the council that parking would not be allowed along the street and each residence would having ample parking area.
The council also okayed the City Manager to execute an Interlocal assistance agreement with the Central Texas Council of governments for funding to hire a volunteer coordinator to supervise the Belton Police Departments RUOK senior adult outreach program. The CTCOG has offered $10,000 to be used for the program between now and September of this year. The position will be part time approximately 20-30 hours a week.