The recent addition of two new Cleburne council members necessitated a bout of rearrangement vis-a-vis several city boards.
Single Member District 2 and SMD 3 councilmen Chris Boedeker and Mike Mann came onto the council courtesy the May elections replacing former council members Gayle White and Dale Sturgeon respectively.
Council appointed both to serve out the unexpired terms of White and Sturgeon on the boards of both the city’s Type A Economic Development Corporation and the 4B Economic Development Corporation.
Both were also appointed to fill unexpired terms on the city’s Tax Increment Finance boards. Council members also reappointed Mayor Scott Cain and Mayor Pro Tem John Warren to second terms on the Type A board.
The council appointed Warren to carry out the remainder of White’s unexpired term on the Cleburne Cemetery Advisory Board.
Might as well jump
Council members approved a $14,658 amendment to the 4B budget to fund replacement of a diving board at Splash Station. The base of the present board has served it’s useful life and needs to be replaced, Finance Director Troy Lestina said.
One half cent of sales tax receipts fund the 4B budget, which pays for city quality of life projects.
Those same tax receipts will fund the 4B budget adjustment and the new diving board, Lestina said.
Sales tax receipts so far this year have exceeded projections by 6.1 percent, he said.
New life for old land
Council members accepted bids totaling $58,500 on six foreclosed upon tracts of land. Of that the city will receive $24,351.82, the rest to be divided among other affected taxing entities.
City Manager Steve Polasek once again commented how heartening it is to see land the city could hardly give away just a few years ago selling at or above appraised value.
Since April 2018, 43 such lots have sold for a total of $297,415.82 with the lots realizing an average price of $6,916.64.
The better news, Cain said, is that buyers are required to build new homes on the vacant lots as opposed to leaving them empty and/or holding on to them for investment purposes.
Cain and Polasek credit the boom of new construction throughout Cleburne and Johnson County for the rise of interest in the foreclosed properties.
About two-thirds of Cleburne’s available vacant properties have sold, Polasek said.
“Another good thing, because of the improved economy, is that we’re seeing fewer new foreclosed properties,” Polasek said. “It’s also a plus that these are all over Cleburne, not just in one area, and that we’re seeing new home construction on the east side.”
Council members authorized Polasek to negotiate a contract with 5, an energy advisory company, for electricity service.
Previous to dealing with 5 the city procured electricity service through TCAP at a rate of .07445 per kilowatt hour. The city’s current contract, which 5 helped secure, provides electrical service at a rate of .04438 per kWh through GLO. That contract expires Dec. 31, 2022.
“Due to historic low rates, city staff in collaboration with 5’s advice recommends authorizing the city manager to enter into a future contract with an electricity supplier now in order to take advantage of this market opportunity,” Lestina said.
The rate for the future contract, which would take effect after the GLO contract expires, could go as low as .03 cents per kWh, Polasek said.
Cain raised the idea up the flagpole and saluted.
“I don’t like to bind future councils but at this low rates it’s a no brainer and it’s good to take advantage while the opportunity is here because these rates can certainly go up on a hurry at any time,” Cain said.
“There’s a lot to be said for predictability,” Boedeker said.
Through planning now for the future the city could save north of $150,000 per year on electricity costs, Polasek said.