By Lindsay Starr Platt
Tuesday night at Belton City Council was called to order with special recognition and awards presented to deserving individuals. Mayor Marion Grayson accepted recognition on behalf of the city from Leadership Belton for their Generous Guardian sponsorship for the Belton Police Memorial. The Belton Police Memorial was the final project for Leadership Belton this past year. Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis was awarded the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officer’s (TAMI) Award for the RUOK program. RUOK is a program provided by the Belton Police Department that provides senior citizens with scheduled check-ins for their welfare.
The ability to be able to hike or bike across Belton may soon be possible because of the approval of an agenda item. Approved was the resolution that authorizes the city manager to sign an Advance Funding Agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation. This approval will fund Phase II of the Chisholm Trail Hike and Bike Facility and is funded through the Transportation Alternatives Program. With the addition of an underground pass through at the railroad track adjacent to University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB), it increased the cost by $1 Million and the city match from $333,000. UMH also contributed $100,000 to the funding of the new trail. that will be part of the Safe Roads to Schools program.
“You will be able to hike and bike from the road that turns into Frank’s to I-35 at the BCYC,” said Sam Listi, City Manager, City of Belton.
A public hearing was set for June 28 to consider the ordinance to grant one-year extensions and two automatic one-year extensions for the service of non-emergency ambulance transfer service for operation on the streets and highways of Belton. Those ambulance providers include Acadian EMS, Scott & White, and Serenity EMS, LLC.
An items on the agenda was tabled at the last council session for this week; Lake to Lake Road Right of Way (ROW) land purchase and the final plat for Cameron Hills II. The property of 3.546 acres owned by Don and Billie Cameron is instrumental in completing ROW for Lake to Lake Road. Council approved the purchase of the 3.546 acres from the Cameron’s and approved the final considerations of the plat for Cameron Hills II.
Facade Improvement Grants were considered and authorized for two businesses in downtown Belton on East Central Avenue. Liberty Church of Bell County and Cendon Realty will both match funds for grants to improve the aesthetics of their buildings and restore any historical features if applicable.
Also approved was the consideration and the award of the bid to Holy Contractors for Holy Contractors for the contract for the River Fair Road Widening Project. The contract and any changes are not to exceed the amount authorized under state law.
Council approved considerations to authorize the city manager to execute an amended professional services agreement for improvements to the Temple-Belton Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant currently treats ten million gallons of wastewater today and with the growing community, the need to increase the amount of water treated is going to be necessary.
Brandon Bozan, Director of Finance, City of Belton presented the budget process to the council and answered any questions. The city was applauded for its equipment replacement program.
“Is it worth $10,000 to fix equipment or is it better to replace it at $150,000?” commented Bozan.
One item on the agenda was tabled until a workshop could be held on June 28 to discuss the considerations of a resolution for a policy regarding the annexation of land into Belton city limits.
City Council met in a closed Executive Session following the regular meeting for a consultation with an attorney.