Chico City Council agrees to rent gym, reviews budget

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, August 16, 2014
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The City of Chico’s municipal complex has proven so popular with outside renters that the city had to get a little creative to find some extra space.

Mayor J.D. Clark explained that Highpoint Athletics, a gymnastics program, began renting the gym at the facility back in the spring. Now that fall is almost here, the gym is needed by Victory Christian Academy for its athletics program. VCA has been a frequent renter of the facility in the past.

Clark said the municipal complex also includes a stand-alone metal gym that was not being regularly used. It has a concrete floor covered by carpet. While that setup would not be good for basketball or volleyball games, it turned out to be perfect for the needs of Highpoint Athletics, Clark said.

Last week, the council agreed to enter into a one-year lease agreement with the company. Highpoint will pay the city $1,100 a month to cover rent and utilities and be responsible for any maintenance or cleaning in exchange for exclusive use of the facility.

“It’s a space we had available, and a private entity is going to be able to come in and do business,” Clark said. “It really benefits both of us. It creates something new for the kids that wasn’t there before.”

The council also reviewed next year’s budget. Clark said it was prepared using the same tax rate as the current fiscal year: 48 cents per $100 valuation.

The proposed balanced budget includes revenues and expenditures of $2,231,628. One major addition to the budget is $543,000 for the city’s Texas Community Development Block Grant for a new water filtration system. That amount includes $269,000 in grant funding and $274,000 from local funding.

The budget also includes a 4 percent cost of living increase for city employees, a new backhoe and funding for the next phase of street improvements, according to the current five-year plan.

A public hearing on the budget and tax rate will be held at the Sept. 2 council meeting.

In other business, the council approved moving forward with plans to provide potable water to P&K Stone for office use only at its planned quarry just outside the city limits.

According to the agreement, the company would be required to pay for all of the associated costs. Earlier this year, the city agreed to sell P&K wastewater, with P&K responsible for paying the costs for the infrastructure involved to make that possible.

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