The Bridgeport City Council Tuesday approved a handful of rate increases to generate revenue to fund the city’s 2012-2013 budget.
The council approved $5 increases to the base rates for commercial water and sewer accounts to help cover the cost of plant operations and distribution services. The new rates take effect Oct. 1.
Residents will also see a 3.11 rate increase for trash pickup by Progressive Waste Solutions, effective Nov. 1. The increase translates to 36 cents per household per month for residential accounts and will vary depending on Dumpster size and the number of lifts per week for commercial customers.
The increase is based on the consumer price index and an increase in landfill costs, company representatives said.
A property tax rate of 58.75 cents per $100 valuation – which has been the same since 2005 – is the biggest funding source for the city’s $20,449,836 budget. Property taxes should bring in $15,285 more than last year due to new properties added to the tax roll and an increase in valuation on current properties.
“We did not increase our tax rate,” said Amy Standard, director of financial services.
In other news, the council:
- approved placing stop signs on eastbound Private Road 1400 at its intersection with Energy Way. This is in response to numerous complaints to the Bridgeport Police Department.
- took no action on an ordinance altering the speed limit on a portion of Farm Road 1658 from U.S. 380 to Texas 114, based on a traffic study by the Texas Department of Transportation. The matter will be discussed at the Oct. 2 council meeting.
- held a public hearing, then adopted an ordinance regulating automotive wrecking/salvage yards and automotive impoundment. Some of the conditions include solid barrier fencing at least 10 feet tall painted a natural earth tone color around the perimeter; no stacking of materials higher than 8 feet; located in an industrial-zoned district, more than 50 feet away from a public street, state highway or residence right-of-way and at least 500 feet from residentially zoned property for impoundment and 1,000 feet for a wrecking/salvage yard.
- held a public hearing, then authorized the mayor to execute a quit-claim deed vacating and abandoning a portion of the Sixth Street right-of-way between Halsell and Cates streets, with approval of the board of directors of the Wise County Domestic Violence Task Force, who own a tract of adjacent land. Owner of the remaining surrounding land, R. G. Beneke, plans to develop the property. Sixth Street is no longer a fully-paved right-of-way used by the public.
- approved an annual agreement with the TxDOT Aviation Division for the 2012 Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP), a matching grant. The city budgeted $8,300 for projects including an automated weather observation system, herbicide spraying and minor paving in the hangars. “We’re going to have to pay for these (projects),” City Administrator Brandon Emmons said. “This is just a way for our money to go twice as far.”
- approved the annual agreement with the county to provide library service to county residents who live outside the limits of any municipality.
- OK’d a $1,500 hotel occupancy tax disbursement to the Bridgeport Riding Club for advertising expenses for the BRC Open to the World Team Roping Oct. 13.
- approved the closure of Halsell Street between seventh and 13th streets from 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, for the Coal Miners’ Heritage Festival.