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Stockdale takes giant financial step to meet city’s needs
PAT KOPECKI/Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com
Stockdale Mayor Johnny Stahl signs the paperwork for two U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loans in the presence of Thomas K. Spurgeon of McCall, Parkhurst & Horton L.L.P.
Wilson County NewsMarch 14, 2012 2,864 views 1 comment
STOCKDALE -- Another artery through the Stockdale city limits may soon be on the horizon, giving the industrial park the needed blood to become more marketable, after the Stockdale City Council unanimously voted in favor of two ordinances approving more than $1.9 million in loans. With this funding, the future water needs of the city will be addressed, as well.
During the March 6 Stockdale City Council meeting, Mayor Johnny Stahl and council members Sherry D. Lambeck, Saul Bosquez, Scott Soden, Becky Adams, and Roger Armstrong heard from Thomas K. Spurgeon of McCall, Parkhurst & Horton L.L.P. regarding two U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loans.
The first ordinance authorizes the issuance of $975,000 in principle for Texas Waterworks System Revenue Bonds. This funding is designated for improvements for the city’s water plant. Annual payment would amount to $48,000, with an interest rate not to exceed 3.375 percent.
This loan would be paid by a pledge of water revenue. To offset this loan payment, the council has adjusted the utility rates twice since 2010, in anticipation of the loan’s approval.
The second ordinance authorizes the issuance of $940,000 in principle for Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation for street improvements. This includes the expansion of Wheeler Street to 30 feet wide and extending the street into the Stockdale Industrial Park, located off U.S 87. This loan is being paid by an annual ad valorem tax and a pledge of surplus revenue from the city’s water and sewer system, with annual payments of $45,000.
Each loan runs for a duration of 40 years.
Spurgeon advised the council that the “application has been accepted [by the Farm Service Agency] but the state office has not signed off, and a 30 to 45 days delay might be seen for funding of the second loan.”
The council has been pursuing ways to fund infrastructure and water storage development for more than 30 months, beginning with former City Manager Harry Grove, and continuing under Interim City Manager David Tillery and current City Manager Banks Akin.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar is scheduled to make the two check presentations to the city of Stockdale Wednesday, March 14, at noon.
The city will be indebted for $1.9 million. Akin told the council that cash available to the city at present totals $716,561. A partial breakdown of the $372,000 savings account includes $31,000 for the fire department, $12,714 for Stockdale Emergency Medical Services, and $127,057 to the street account.
As the city moves forward with these projects, the council may consider updating the city’s mobile home ordinance.
During the public comments section of the meeting, Rhonda Deagen asked the council for a variance to allow for a utility connection for a mobile home, moved from one location within the city limits to another. Since the mobile home is older than 10 years, a variance is needed before utility hook-up.
Stockdale City Marshal James “Jim” Stewart, who also serves as the city’s code compliance officer, also updated the council regarding eight or nine vacant mobile homes -- all older than 10 years -- within the city limits. These homes are vacant or not hooked up to city utilities at the present time, Stewart said.
Stewart and Akin are concerned that the city may need to address the abatement and rehabilitation of vacant properties, including mobile homes.
Stewart said vacant homes could lead to a public nuisance; if the city proceeds to abate the property, the legal costs (through District Court) could become expensive.
Stewart suggested addressing this in an updated mobile home ordinance.
The council also approved two zoning changes to allow for two recreational-vehicle parks within the city. See story, this page.
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