Mondays with the Mayor is designed to help residents know what’s going on at City Hall. Every other Monday, Cleburne Mayor Ted Reynolds answers a series of questions posed by the Times-Review and its readers. If you have questions for the mayor, e-mail them to editor@trcle.com or mail them to Cleburne Times-Review, P.O. Box 1569, Cleburne, Texas, 76033.



Q: I have seen homeowners and commercial lawn services using power blowers to blow grass and leaves out into the street. I can’t imagine that the leaves and grass are good for the city’s storm drains. On Dec. 12, I watched two commercial grass cutters blow and rake leaves from a business into Buffalo Creek. Is this a good practice? Is there anything the city can do to prevent this in the future?

A: You are correct. Grass and leaves clog storm drains and inlets and can lead to serious problems including flooding. It is also just not very neighborly to blow your grass clippings and leaves out in the street where they will blow or wash over to your next door neighbor’s yard. It has been determined that mulching of clippings and leaves is the best practice. Leaving them in the street or gutter is illegal. You may report violations to our code enforcement department.



Q: Has the city ever given any consideration to opening a recycling center, similar to the one in Burleson, where residents can just drive through and drop off paper, glass, plastic, etc.? I know there are paper drop-off places around the city and metal can be taken to a business in Cleburne, but one place where all the materials could be dropped off would make it easier on citizens.

A: Recycling is an important element in a healthy environment. Other cities, particularly the larger ones, are already addressing this issue. From time to time there have been discussions about various options concerning recycling. It is my understanding that the city of Fort Worth has trucks that do residential collection of glass, paper, etc. on a regular, routed basis. This is obviously a healthy environmental practice but it comes at a price. If enough of our citizens are interested, I’m sure that the city staff and council will be happy to take another look at the options available to us.



Q: It is my understanding that the city recently received a very large gas royalty check (over $1 million) for a single month. Are these payments expected to continue? Will this additional money mean lower taxes?

A: We did receive a very large royalty check for the month of November. Because of a lot of factors, it is next to impossible to predict the amounts of future checks. During the months of November and December natural gas prices were very high. Since that time they have declined by about 30 percent. I am hoping that we receive at least one more very large check like this one. This may or may not happen. I certainly do expect that we will continue to receive very significant royalty payments for the next several months even if they are not in the million-dollar range. As far as property taxes are concerned, our tax rate has already been set as required by law. During the last budget cycle a majority of the city council felt it was necessary to raise property taxes. I opposed raising taxes. In fact, I proposed lowering the tax rate. I continue to feel that our taxes are too high. I will continue to work to keep your taxes as low as possible. It is too late to lower taxes this year, but this additional money can certainly help us to do some important things to benefit our city. I will push to do some of the things that I have felt are important all along, such as repairs and improvements to our streets as well as our water and sewer lines. Maybe we can use some of this money to do badly needed repairs on the roads in our cemetery. City government is all about reflecting the wishes of our citizens. I would appreciate your input.

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