The Levelland City Council met in a regular meeting Monday night.
During the public forum portion of the meeting, Ed Marsch spoke to the council concerning traffic on Holly is traveling too fast, especially in the afternoon. He noted that they requested a stop sign at Holly and Birch. A stop sign was installed and had helped the issue. The stop signs were removed a while back without any comment from anyone. He said that city staff had told him that the city is doing traffic flow evaluations. Marsch said he had canvassed the neighborhood and him and the neighbors would like to see the stop signs put back up.
David Dunn also spoke to the council. He spoke to the city council concerning property taxes. He noted that he had just got his statement and property taxes are up 4.5%. He noted that citizens are in Austin fighting to get a property tax cap in place and he went on to say that citizens will continue fighting until it is voted in by the Legislature. He noted that the only ones fighting the cap was cities and counties.
The council also canvassed the election returns from the May election. It was noted that less than 2% of the registered voters voted in the election. It was noted that many people in Austin want to put everything to an election, which means items in the city will be decided by less than 2%. It was also noted that less than 1% of the registered voters in the 35-44 age bracket voted. The proposition to continue collection of the street maintenance sales tax passed by a 92% margin with 227 votes in favor to 20 votes against.
JoeBill Vardeman and Max Ledesma were sworn in to additional terms on the city council.
The council also took action regarding an Encroachment Agreement at 1008 12th Street. The encroachment agreement was needed to allow for a clear title and to allow for the sale of the property. There is currently no utilities in the area. The council approved the agreement with little discussion.
The council also discussed a special events application for the Rods and Bombs Invasion Car Show to be held at the Levelland City Park on July 13th from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The event organizer Rudy Rivera Jr. said it will be a BYOB event which required the event to come to the council. It was recommended by a committee including city staff that the event not be allowed to have any alcohol as it is on city property which violates the current city ordinance. Rudy Rivera Jr. said he is trying to hold the event to help Levelland. He said he still want to have the event with alcohol, it would not be advertised, however, it would be allowed for people to bring alcohol. City staff noted that with alcohol their would be a minimum of 4 police officers required for security and the cost would have to be passed on to the event organizers. The city ordinance bans alcohol on city property. Councilman Jim Myatt, said “I am against having alcohol at the event.” Police Chief, Albert Garcia noted that it is Early Settlers Day and most of the Levelland officers will be involved with that, he said he might could outsource officers from other agencies to assist. The city manager noted that this is uncharted territory for the city and with this large of an event it may be necessary to have security regardless if alcohol is involved. The current city code does not allow alcohol in city park. The city attorney noted that the city council can require security regardless of alcohol being involved. Councilman Jim Myatt made the motion to approve the application without alcohol with a minimum of three security officers. It passed unanimously. The city attorney clarified that the event can be held, but alcohol is not allowed and security officers will be required. It was noted that if alcohol is found on premises, law enforcement will enforce the city ordinance.
The council also took action to extend the depository contract for 90 days as allowed by the current contract. City Bank is agreeable to the extension while the city is accepting proposals.
The council also took action to form a Housing Development Planning Task Force to work on Multi Family Housing Development and Single Family Housing Development. The task force will include a banking representative, a realtor and a private citizen. Councilwoman Breann Buxkemper said, “I see no negative, this can only be positive, adding that Levelland ISD and other companies need homes for employees.” City Manager, Erik Rejino said “we don’t want to run out of lots for development, it will hinder our commercial development.”
The council took action to approve the resale of property at 1819 Houston Street in Levelland. It was noted that their are significant amount of back taxes due on the property. A bid was approved from Oscar Hilliard for $2,580. They also took action to approve the resale of property at 1211 and 1213 Ave. M to Dale and Jeanie Brown.
The council also took action to approve the ordinance to change the zone from Single Family 2 to Business 2 at 101 House Avenue, 102 North Denver and 104 North Denver in Levelland on a second and final reading.