The Levelland City Council met Monday night in a regular meeting.
The council approved the order to call the May 4, 2019 election. City Council members for District B and D are on the ballot as well as the reauthorization of 1/4 of 1% sales tax for street maintenance. The sales tax would not increase, the city has been collecting the tax for the past several years. If the sales tax is not reauthorized it would likely mean property tax would have to go up 17% or 12 cents per $100 property value in order to make up for the lost income and pay for street maintenance through property tax.
The council also took action to approve a request from the Hotel Occupancy Tax commmittee for $4,000 from the Texas Limousine Association Field Day show at the Mallet Event Center and Arena in May.
The council held a public hearing on an amendment to the Levelland Zoning Code authorizing the use of game rooms and amusement redemption machines as a permitted use in the industrial zones within the City of Levelland. No one was present to speak in the public hearing.
The council took action to approve an ordinance amending a current ordinance to authorize the use of game rooms and amusement redemption machines as a permitted use. In 2018 the council approved a licensing procedure and a fee for game rooms. The current ordinance dictates hours of operation and states a game room cannot be within 300 feet of a church. They are adding a portion to limit game rooms to only the industrial zones of the city. Current game rooms would be grand fathered in. Councilman JoeBill Vardeman stated he has received a phone call about posts on social media about how much money people are winning and the amount of trash around the facilities.
The council also took action to approve an ordinance regulating the use and operation of game rooms and amusement redemption machines. Based on experience in the past three months the city is changing the annual license fee to expire one year from date of issuance. The city is also adding an additional inspection fee of $150 if the city has to re-inspect. There have been a large amount of man hours spent enforcing the current ordinance. This ordinance changes will apply retroactively. The city is also adding a clause to allow the city to deny a permit for a game room if they have had a conviction of violating a law including illegal gambling, money laundering or a crime involving moral turpitude. The ordinance was approved on a first reading.
The council took action to approve the Levelland Economic Development Corporation to market approximately 5 acres of land to the east of the Oxy sports complex and the north of the Mallet Event Center. The LEDC board has approved the EDC Director and City Manager to work together on marketing the land for future economic development and to issue a Request for Proposals. Any final recommendation on the property would be approved by the city council and Economic Development Board. It was noted that the land was part of the land donated by Occidental Permian for the sports complex and the city has got their approval to market the property. It was also noted that any development would be required to build a buffer zone around the homes in the area.
The city approved a resolution authorizing the city to apply for a grant to renovate and concrete the existing the Lobo Lake Walking Trail on the west side and add an additional 874 linear feet to finish the walking trail on the east side. The grant is an 80% grant through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The council also approved an ordinance to authorize Lamb County Electric to operate and do business in the City of Levelland and for collection of franchise fees by the city.