NEWS HEADLINES

Chamber to receive fixed amount

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, October 9, 2013

{{{*}}}The Bridgeport City Council last week made official a suggestion that was offered in May.

At its Oct. 1 meeting the council amended the city’s funding agreement with the Bridgeport Area Chamber of Commerce, allocating a fixed $30,000 a year, to be paid in quarterly installments of $7,500.

Under an agreement crafted in 2006, the chamber had been receiving 25 percent of the hotel occupancy tax dollars collected quarterly.

The last few years, those amounts have been $15,171.90 (the first half of fiscal year 2012-2013); $23,114.66 (FY 2011-2012); $23,937.90 (FY 2010-2011); and $24,333.65 (FY 2009-2010).

Chamber expenses, as presented at the May meeting, total about $21,000.

“The difference doesn’t leave a lot of room for error,” Mayor Keith McComis said then. “Plus it’s hard to sit down and figure out how you’re going to spend your money if you don’t know what you’re getting.”

Setting aside a fixed amount for the Chamber would streamline it with the city’s other disbursements as the Stage, Main Street and sponsorships of various events put on by civic organizations all receive a set amount.

“It would clean up the process so everyone is receiving a fixed amount, and we have a guarantee that we won’t go over our budget,” City Administrator Brandon Emmons said.

IN OTHER NEWS

The council also:

  • recognized the police department for achieving State Recognized status by the Texas Police Chief’s Association Foundation for the second time. The program evaluates a police department’s compliance with more than 165 Best Business Practices for Texas law enforcement. Bridgeport PD is only the 16th agency in the state to be recognized twice.
  • approved the 2013 annual rate review mechanism negotiated between Atmos Energy Corp. and Atmos Cities Steering Committee. The settlement is expected to increase the average residential bill by 74 cents per month.
  • waived the Lawdwin Ball Fields rental fee for a fundraiser on Oct. 19 benefiting Rosie Gonzales, a longtime Bridgeport resident who was involved in a serious car accident in August.
  • entered into an agreement with Higginbotham and Associates Inc. so that certain public health information be disclosed for employee benefit needs.
  • authorized the temporary closure of Boston and 20th streets, Kay and Lanice avenues, and Krista, Shady Oaks, Fair Oaks and Ridgewood drives from Cates Street to Lanice Avenue in the Oakland Heights Addition 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, for the Halloween celebration. The police department will establish a command post at the water tower on Boston Street, where they will provide treats and games for children and information to the general public.
  • approved an agreement with CivicPlus to upgrade and redesign the city’s website. New features include the availability of development service forms, easier navigation and the opportunity for community members to add events to the calendar.
  • granted a special exception on sign ordinance to Leon Wilkerson, owner of P&W Center at 1404 Chico Highway, allowing an LED sign.
  • nominated Ray Cook and Mike Hurd for two-year terms on the Wise County Appraisal District board of directors.
  • approved a $2,000 hotel occupancy tax dollar disbursement to Bridgeport Riding Club. The money will be used to advertise the Open to the World Team Roping Oct. 12 at the riding club’s arena.
  • reviewed the Sept. 19-Oct. 2 payment report in the amount of $168,565.13.

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