Council approves RUOK? funding

by / 0 Comments / 48 View / December 3, 2014

Published November 13, 2014

By Devin Corbitt, The Belton Journal

Monday night’s Belton City Council Meeting was highlighted by the Belton Police Department.
First, the council approved the continuation of an agreement between the department and the Central Texas Council of Governments (CTCOG) that provides funding for the volunteer coordinator of BPD’s RUOK? program for the next six months. The council then approved a no-cost “license” agreement between the department and the H-E-B Grocery Corporation that will allow BPD to use a vacant store space on the front of the Belton H-E-B building.
“We hope to have a store-front sub-station there,” Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis said. “One of the goals is to operate the RUOK? program out of there. They’re stretched for space right now in our existing facility until we expand, so this would give us the opportunity to have a presence on the north end (of Belton) for crime deterrence and a place where officers can meet complainants and get paperwork done, keep them in district.”
On Jan. 1, 2015, the Solid Waste Collection Rate for city residents will increase by 2.09 percent. This increase will produce an approximate $2,000 increase revenue, which will cover the projected $2,000 increase in program expenditures next year. Customers will see less than a dollar increase on monthly bills.
The council also approved the transfer of property from the city to the Belton Economic Development Corporation of the former Rockwool property, located east of the IH 35 and FM 93 intersection.
The council reappointed Jamie Sanderford and Bill Barge to two-year terms on the Electrical Board and Lindsay Dubberly and Cindy Meredith to three-years terms on the Library Board.
The board also authorized the City Manager to amend the development agreement between with city and Carothers Development LLC in regards to the Highland Estates and Dawson Ranch subdivisions. The change would allow for sidewalks to be built on Ytturia Drive.
The meeting wrapped up with a lengthy report for the Siemens Industry Inc. on a contract regarding water meters in the city. The project would improve meter infrastructure, ultimately resulting in more accurate water meters. The meters currently run at an average 92 percent accuracy throughout the city; Siemens would guarantee 98.5 percent accuracy.
The project would be budget neutral, according to representative from Siemens, since increase revenues from more accurate water bills would cover the costs associated with the project. However, council members were wary of this claim, as residents would pay more than $5 million over the course of 15 years for the project.
No action was taken at the meeting, but the council voted to proceed with steps necessary to ensure the project could be undertaken in a timely manner should they decide to implement the program.
The next meeting of the Belton City Council will be held Nov. 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the Harris Community Center, 401 N. Alexander, Belton.