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Eagle Ford: Council considers sales-tax increase
STOCKDALE -- The financial ripple effect of the Eagle Ford shale exploration is a common theme discussed among area municipalities, and the city of Stockdale is no exception. During the Dec. 11 Stockdale City Council meeting, the Eagle Ford shale was brought up during the discussion of two agenda items.
Stockdale City Manager Banks Akin asked the council to consider increasing the sales tax by 0.25 percent for street improvements and repairs.
According to Akin, the city sales-tax revenue for October was $17,000, with November proceeds amounting to $15,000.
He anticipates an additional $30,000 in revenue annually, if the residents approve an increase in the sales-tax rate.
The current 7.75 percent sales-tax revenue is allocated as:
•State -- 6.25 percent
•City -- 1.5 percent (city of Stockdale receives 1 percent; Stockdale Economic Development Corp., 0.5 percent).
Akin said that approximately 50 percent of the sales-tax revenue is received from commuters driving through the city or transitory living, with a large portion derived from the Eagle Ford shale exploration.
The council approved for Akin to contact the city attorney to place the issue on the May 2013 ballot. The council discussed but did not pursue this avenue in 2012, as the election for the creation of Emergency Services District No. 3 was placed on the November ballot.
The Eagle Ford shale exploration also has a big impact on utility providers, including the Floresville Electric Light & Power System (FELPS).
FELPS General Manager Kyle Dicke presented FELPS’ 2013 fiscal year budget to the council during the meeting. FELPS’ 18-percent earnings distribution to Stockdale, under the three-owner-city agreement with Floresville and Poth, will give the city an estimated $162,542 -- an increase of approximately $8,500 over the previous year.
The increase is credited to the Eagle Ford shale oil and gas exploration in the FELPS service area, which accounted for additional revenue of $920,000 to $1 million for electrical needs for the actual oil rigs and the spillover from the “man camps” established, Dicke said.
Also during the meeting, the council approved motions to amend the zoning ordinance, including:
•To include specific requirements for changes to the ordinance to allow industrialized (modular) homes in agricultural- and residential-designated areas within the city limits. A public hearing on this was held prior to the regular meeting, with no comments received from the general public.
•To allow for special-use permits in commercial and industrial districts on a case-by-case basis.
After the meeting, a second public hearing was held for the city to issue a special-use permit to Ritter Construction Co. for setting up recreational vehicles for security purposes at a rental property located on North Eighth Street.
The council also heard presentations from:
•San Antonio River Authority Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator Karen Opiela, regarding a digital handbook about identification theft management practices. Opiela gave her short presentation during the public comments portion of the meeting.
***In attendance: Mayor Johnny Stahl; councilmen Sherry D. Lambeck, Scott Soden, Saul Bosquez, Becky Adams, and Roger Armstrong; City Manager Banks Akin, City Secretary Thania Santos, Stockdale Public Works Director David Tillery, Raul Gonzalez of the Rural Community Assistance Program, Floresville Electric Light & Power System (FELPS) General Manager Kyle Dicke, FELPS Assistant General Manager David McMillan, San Antonio River Authority Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator Karen Opiela; and Betty Soto of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
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