The Belton City Council held a regular meeting to discuss various topics on Tuesday.

Court Clerk LaCretia Van de Plas was celebrated for obtaining her Level III Court Clerk certification.

Lilly Pebworth, Program Coordinator from the Texas Municipals Courts Education Center, drove from Austin to present Van de Plas with this honor. Belton has two court clerks bearing this certification, which proves the hard work it takes to achieve it, Pebworth said.

City Manager Sam Listi presented a proposal for a five-year declining rate tax abatement with CSC Group, LP, which is located in Tax Abatement Reinvestment Zone Number 13 along the east side of Grove Road. Todd Mantz, Owner of CSC Group, LP, is proposing a 50,000 square foot warehouse that will be leased to Capitol Seating, as the company is in need of space, and, consequently, this space will provide four new job opportunities for the citizens of Belton.

“We appreciate you investing in us because we are going to be investing in the community,” Mantz said.

The total cost of the warehouse is an estimated $1.75 million in new property value with a three percent increase, $42,549 in abatement of city property taxes and $23,041 of county property taxes.

“I personally love to reinvest in companies who have invested in our community, especially one that’s been here this long, 30 years, and the willingness to stay here and continue to hire our citizens and build their product and put that stamp of Belton, Texas on that product; gotta love that, so I personally am in favor of reinvesting,” Belton Mayor Marion Grayson said.

Director of Public Works/City Engineer Angellia Points introduced an amendment of traffic schedules and speed limit regulations was considered with the insertion of additional signage due to new developments in Belton. Six new subdivisions were built in the past two years that required installation of new signage: stop signs were added in the Bell Tex, Light and Oak Grove, Liberty Hill, Highland and Weaver subdivisions.

Points also presented on the Texas Department of Transportation’s proposal of a temporary speed reduction for all of US190/IH-14 through Belton from 75 MPH (miles per hour) to 65 MPH during the construction of the US190/IH-14 widening project. The majority of this project is happening in Harker Heights and Nolanville, with 0.58 miles of extension in Belton and is set to be complete by Feb. 2022.

City Clerk Amy Casey provided clarifications for the City of Belton Fee and Rate Schedule regarding solid waste collection rates and registration and inspection of mobile home parks for fiscal year 2020.

Interim Director of Finance Susan Alloman gave an update on the revisions of the fiscal year 2019 budget that are working to create a neutral budget.

The regular meeting was recessed as a Belton Employee Benefits Trust meeting was called.

Andrew Weegar, Consultant from HUB International, delivered a presentation on employee insurance product contracts. United HealthCare and Scott & White health plans have the support of the majority, and no benefit design adjustments were necessary for Scott & White, Weegar said.

Weegar recommended a shift from MetLife to Principal for dental coverage, as MetLife presents a negative two percent rate reduction and Principal shows a negative 17 percent rate reduction. He also gave evidence for the maintenance of Scott & White for medical coverage, as it proved to be the “most competitive” in rates and designs.

The council then reconvened and unanimously voted in favor of the funding for employee insurance contracts byway of the Board of the Employee Benefits Trust.

Director of Parks and Recreation Matt Bates provided an overview of the proposed Parks Master Plans for the Heritage Park expansion of 85 acres of land, formerly known as the Leon Valley Golf Course. Establishing open space and maintaining the park’s natural beauty are at the top of the priority list for the Belton community, Bates said, and it is his goal to remain loyal to that mindset.

Phase I of the park includes the addition of one athletic field and improvements on Park Lane Road for access into, through and out of Heritage Park. An enlarged soccer complex, more parking (90 spaces) and a pavilion including restroom facilities, will overflow into Phase I of the park. More information on Phase I will be available in next week’s paper.

Belton City Council will reconvene for a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Harris Community Center.