On Monday, Sept. 27, the Palestine City Council adopted a budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 and last year’s tax rate.
The council had to make a few minor changes to the budget to make it balance based on the rate of $0.683774 per $100 valuation. According to City Manager Teresa Herrera, this rate will generate an additional $300,00 due to property valuations going up.
The council adopted an ordinance to provide a property tax ceiling for the disabled and the elderly to take effect next year.
The council confirmed April Jackson as the new city secretary.
They also approved the designated area for the new dog park, a grant through the Texas Water Development Board for city-owned dams, a resolution for 2021 Palestine Economic Development Commission Downtown Grant for 112 E. Oak St. owned by Richard Farris, Jr. in the amount of $12,737.88, a resolution supporting the 2021 PEDC community Development Grand Resolution for the purchase and installation of Wayfinding Signs in the downtown district and surrounding area not to exceed $50,000 and a chlorine purchase agreement with Brenntag for water and wastewater treatment for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
The meeting began with proclamations for Teachers’ Day, Keeping the Lights on After School and World Mental Health Day.
There was a public hearing on the proposed tax rate of $0.712096 per $100 valuation, the De Minimis tax rates, that exceeds the no-new-revenue tax rate.
Three individuals addressed the council regarding the tax rate. They were all of the opinion that during a pandemic isn’t the time to raise taxes.
In the mayor’s report, Dana Goolsby said there is a vaccination clinic at Morning Star Baptist Church on Oct. 1, and Oct. 30 and you can also get vaccination at our local pharmacies.
During items from the council, Justin Florence, Krissy Clark, Ava Harmon and Dustin Frazier encouraged locals to keep Officer Freddy Nino in their thoughts and Vickey Chivers encouraged residents to get vaccinated.
For board appointments, the council approved:
• Planing and Zoning - the appointment of Kristy Wages to Place 2 replacing Richard Farris, Jr., and Adam Armstrong to Place 3 replacing Dr. Mary Cox on Planning and Zoning with a term to expire Sept. 30, 2023.
• Parks Advisory Board - the reappointment of Jacob Wheeler to Place 3 and the appointment of Sharon Hester to Place 1 replacing Jeana McLelland, Chris Arthur to Place 2 replacing Thelma Holland and Stephanie Wickware to Place 4 replacing Mike Kelly, with a term to expire Sept. 30, 2023.
• Tourism Advisory Board – the appointment of Allison Freeman to Place 1 replacing Tim Patel and Alex Hardy to Place 2 replacing Sonia Martinez with a term to expire Sept. 30, 2023.
• Library Advisory Board – the reappointment of Cindy Thornton to Place 4 and Rhonda Herrington to Place 5 with a term to expire on Sept. 30, 2024.
• Palestine Economic Development – the appointment of Joseph Thomason to Place 4 replacing Michael Page with a term to expire Dec. 31, 2023.
The board approved a list of 20 consent agenda items, including the payment of bills, amendment of ordinances, the purchase of chemicals and the awarding of bids.
From the closed session, the council approved a PEDC contract with Tampico Bottling Company.
With no further business, the meeting adjourned.