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City approves $50k for EDC business improvement grants

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    Examiner photo by Connie Clements - At the Oct. 28 Navasota City Council Meeting, Mayor Bert Miller presents Municipal Court Judge Pat Gruner and Municipal Court Clerk Rochelle Jessie with a proclamation recognizing Nov. 4-8 as Municipal Court Week. The proclamation points out the significant role the municipal court plays in preserving public safety as well as often being the first interaction the public may have with the Texas judicial system.
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    Examiner photo by Connie Clements - Mayor Bert Miller presents 18-year old British Isles resident Tom Martin Hughes with a proclamation recognizing Oct. 28 as Tom Martin Hughes Day. Hughes is passionate about active citizenship and charity work for more than 10 years, raising thousands of pounds for charity. He has received several prestigious awards in Great Britain as a result of his work and he will be speaking to Navasota students about active citizenship and the power of volunteering.

The Navasota City Council held a Regular Meeting Monday, Oct. 28, and approved an expenditure to boost economic development in Navasota.

After a public hearing with no comments for or against, council members approved the first reading of Resolution 661-19 approving the 2019-2020 Navasota Economic Development Corporation (EDC) budget. The EDC is funded by the City of Navasota sales tax.

The $682,000 budget includes funding for the Railroad Street drainage and parking lot project in the 100 block of E. Washington Avenue and a Navasota EDC 4B Project.

Acting on a second related agenda item, councilmen approved Resolution 662-19, for the aforementioned EDC 4B Project, a Business Improvement Grant Program in the amount of $50,000.

“4B,” aka Section 4B, was authorized by the Texas legislature in 1991 as a new type of sales tax. It allows a small portion of a city’s sales tax revenue to be used to fund projects typically considered to be community development initiatives.

According to the city’s Economic Development Specialist Jonathan Soseby, the EDC funded $10,000 in business improvement grants in 2018-2019. The additional funding will allow for more projects, some of which will include some Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades.

City council is required to approve EDC expenditures over $10,000.

Pecan Lakes 380

agreement amended

Council members approved an addendum to the Pecan Lakes 380 Development Agreement that will allow the city to use funds budgeted for the agreement to be used for the installation of two streetlights in the Pecan Lakes Estates subdivision.

According to the original 380 Agreement with J&H Navasota Development signed in 2016, upon the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy in Phase I of Pecan Lakes Estates, the city would pay J&H $4,000, not to exceed $260,000 over a five-year period, to cover the cost of road rehabilitation to Fairway Drive provided by J&H.

City staff’s recent review of current plans and construction found that two streetlights were not installed during the Phase I construction. The amended agreement allows the city to utilize remaining 380 budgeted funds to pay Entergy for installation of the missing streetlights.

Other council action:

•Sanctioned the Reds, Wheats and Blues Festival to be held Nov. 9.

•Tabled the first reading of Ordinance 907-19, amending Chapter 2 Animal Control for further study.

•Approved the first reading of Ordinance 909-19 approving the 2019 Brazos County portion of the appraisal tax roll for the City of Navasota in the amount of $824.39, an increase of 233.16% from 2018.

•Approved the first reading of Ordinance 908-19 approving the 2019 Grimes County portion of the appraisal tax roll for the City of Navasota in the amount of $2,496,417.95, an increase of 12.31% from 2018.

•Approved the second reading of Ordinance 906-19 changing current A/O,Agriculture/Open Space District zoning for two properties to B-1, General Business and three properties to M-1, Light Industrial.

•Approved Resolution 663-19 casting 210 votes for Kathleen Terrell to serve on the Grimes County Appraisal District Board of Director.

•Approved the appointment of Dianna Westmoreland to a second term on the Navasota Housing Authority.

Staff, board & commission reports:

•By proclamation, recognized Oct. 28 as “Tom Martin Hughes Day.”

•By proclamation, recognized Nov. 4-8, 2019 as Municipal Court Week.

•Economic Development Specialist Jonathan Sosebee gave a report about the Texas Economic Development Council Conference.

•City Secretary Susie Homeyer gave the Oakland Cemetery annual report.

•Lt. Michael Mize updated council of the weather-related location change for Treats on the Street Oct. 30 from outside City Hall to the VFW Hall.

•Received an update on the Oct. 24 Planning & Zoning Commission meeting from councilman Bernie Gessner.

Mayor’s Calendar of

Events:

•Nov. 9, Saturday – Veteran’s Day Parade, Downtown Navasota, 10 a.m.

•Nov. 9, Saturday – Reds, Wheats & Blues, 2 – 6 p.m., Downtown Navasota.