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Huntsville City Council Update

by WCNT staff

City To Hold Runoff Election

The City of Huntsville will hold a runoff election on December 15 to determine the winner of this year’s City Council At-Large Position 2 race. Contenders will be Dee Howard, who received 40.69 percent of the vote in the November 6 General Election and William Bayne, who received 30.10 percent. A third contender, Rico Rodriquez received 29.21 percent.

Early voting will begin on November 28 and all voting will be at the Walker County Annex, 1301 Sam Houston Avenue.

As previously reported the other three At-Large Seats on the November 6 Ballot were won by incumbents Paul Davidhizar (Position 1) and Clyde Loll (Position 3), both of whom ran unopposed, and by Mari Montgomery, a newcomer to the Council, who defeated Timothy Davis for the Position 4 Seat.

More paid parking on Campus

At its November 20 meeting the Council heard a first reading of a staff proposal to add yet another segment of paid parking in the SHSU campus area. Readers may recall that previous such attempts by the City have been questioned or objected to by an assortment of business owners, residents and student groups, while the City has offered little to justify its actions. The University has also been quiet about whether or not it has favored these actions by the City.

The street in question this time is a roughly 250-yard segment of 17th Street just northwest of Bowers Stadium that connects Bobby K. Marks Drive to Bearkat Blvd. The Staff estimates that about 35 parking places will be created resulting in an estimated income to the City of $8 -14 thousand per year.

Community Development Block Grant

The City has been awarded a $350,000 grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture enabling the City to replace about a half mile of old and deteriorated water lines in the area of 9th Street and Avenues C and D. The City will provide a match of $62,000 in cash and in-kind services to round out the total cost of this project.

Replacement Vehicles and Equipment

Council has authorized the purchase of about a million dollar’s-worth of replacement vehicles and equipment. The vehicles include police-package SUV’s, pickups for several departments, and specialty equipment for solid waste and wastewater purposes.

Used Tire Storage and Disposal

The Council has also amended the City’s Code of Ordinances to better enable the City to deal with health, public safety and appearance issues caused by improper storage and disposal of used tires within the City.

The new Ordinance requires that stored tires not be allowed to hold water, dirt, rubbish or other foreign materials and that tires stored outside shall be neatly stored in containers or on racks and screened from public view by a permanent fence or other structure.

In the Council discussion, it was stated that the Ordinance only applies to stored tires and tire pieces. It does not prohibit the use of tires in landscaping schemes, if those tires do not otherwise present a health or safety concern.

Persons and businesses affected by this code change will have 6 months to take necessary action for compliance.

TIRZ Board Chairman

The Mayor nominated and the Council unanimously approved Dalene Zender as the TIRZ (Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone) Board Chairman for 2019.

The TIRZ, now the site of the Ravenwood Village Shopping Center, was originally established in 2004 and later modified in 2010 to be an area where the City could make special tax concessions in order to promote economic development. So far, a total of approximately $11 Million in sales and property tax concessions have been made or pledged to the developer and businesses of the shopping center.

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