By Devin Corbitt, The Belton Journal
The regularly scheduled meeting of the Belton City Council began on a bright note Tuesday as Mayor Marion Grayson was publicly announced as a 2015 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas (GSCTX). GSCTX representatives Julia Arnold, Resource Development Executive, and Marianne DeLeon, Resource Development Director presented Grayson with balloons, flowers and a box of Samoas at the meeting.
“Ever year, Girl Scouts represent women in their communities that give selflessly back and are an amazing example for our Girl Scouts, and this year you (Grayson) have been selected as a 2015 Woman of Distinction,” Arnold said. Grayson will be honored at the GSCTX Women of Distinction Banquet at Central Texas College on March 12. The big ticket on the meeting’s agenda was the approval of the city manager to acquire a 5-acre tract of land that will become the site of the Northwest Belton Water Storage Tank. The tank is part of the Public Works Department’s plans to expand the city’s water infrastructure, including the addition of a third elevated water tank.
The city currently utilizes one 500,000-gallon tank and one 750,000-gallon tank to provide a pressurized water supply throughout the city. Because of the city’s growth, a third tank will be necessary within the next two to five years in order to maintain adequate water supply and water pressure.
“This is an ideal piece of property,” Public Works Director Mike Huber said. “Everything else presents some logistical challenges. This is the place it needs to be.”
The acquisition of the 5.043-acre will cost a total of $126,075. The land is part of a 14.06-acre tract that is currently owned by the Dawson Ranch-Regatta Oaks Homeowners Association. The council approved the final plat for the tract on Tuesday, which will include a community pool to the south of the future water tank.
Council also approved a zone change that will allow the construction of a 53-lot subdivision located near Stoney Brook Assisted Living. The subdivision would feature smaller, lower-cost homes ideal for retirees who wish to downsize.
“(There is) a need in this community for smaller homes that are more affordable but less maintenance for older citizens who want to downsize like we (he and his wife) would have liked to have done,” former Belton Mayor Bill Holmes said. “I think we’re going to retain some people who are elderly in our community that we have not been retaining. They have moved to smaller homes in different communities because the smaller home was not available here.”
The second and final public hearing for the voluntary annexation of Chisholm Trail West and Hubbard Branch/BISD tracts of land was conducted during the meeting. The first reading of the ordinance to approve the annexations will take place at a specially-called meeting Feb. 7. The meeting concluded with the approval of a set of resolutions offering support for Prestwick Development’s Tax Credit Application, which has applied for a grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to construct low and moderate income housing within the city. In approving the second resolution, the council has committed to providing $211,350 in financial support for the project.
The council will reconvene Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Harris Community Center, 401 N. Alexander St. in Belton.