Granite Shoals affirms bond sale

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The Granite Shoals City Council will meet in a special session Wednesday, March 7, to make arrangements for administration of the city without city manager Ken Nickel.

Since Nickel resigned verbally during the council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27, no advance preparation had been made signatories or a search process for an interim, or new, city manager. That work will take place Wednesday and until then assistant city manager Peggy Smith will serve as interim CM.

The council did take action last Tuesday on two major projects Nickel has shepherded forward for the city—road improvement bonds and annexation.

The issuance of the $3 million in road bonds was approved by ordinance. The money, approved by voters in November 2016 and again in November 2017, should be available on March 21.

Nickel and finance director Wendy Gholson worked with the city bond counsel and financial advisors to negotiate a 10-year issue at 3.195 percent from Broadway National Bank of San Antonio.

Nickel explained the bonds can be called early if the city seeks to save on interest. He reviewed the fact that a taxpayer with a property valued at $100,000 will pay about $36 per year, except for residents over the ages of 65 or handicapped, who taxes will not be affected.

Following four public hearings, newly annexed tracts of land were re-zoned from the default AG Zone (Agriculture).

Beaver Island and Web Isle were zoned R-1 (Single Family Residential).

Three tracts of Mezger Family ranch property now making up far-eastern Granite Shoals were assigned permeant AG Zone status.

The City Wide Clean Up Day is set for April 14. City Secrutary Elaine Simpson said secure shredding services would be available again at the 8 a.m.-noon event.

Municipal Judge Frank Reilly presented his quarterly report for the court.

He said the caseload began at 843 cases. After the addition of 339 new cases and closure of 300, the current total stands at 882 open cases. About 65 of traffic tickets on the docket are being handled by citizens taking the Defensive Driving Course.

In his city manager's report, Nickel said Fran Rubin had taken on the dask of starting a senior citizen program in the city.

He provided the reasoning for advertising the Quarry Park grant engineering contracts in two phases. Nonetheless, the council was not satisfied with a single bid to consider and renewed the request to have the work advertised again as a single project.

Smith had been asked to continue reports on city water service needs.

She said utility staff has composed descriptions of a “wish list” of projects that need funding—about $710,000 worth of improvements for Sherwood Shores III (the groundwater segment of the city water system) and about $9.2 million in improvements needed for the main city surface water operation.

The next regular meeting of the council will be March 13 and the Fencing Ordinance, for which the city attorney is editing language, should return for consideration.

Also expected for the agenda is the issue of water supply availability on East Greencastle Drive. A a resident there is living in a manufactured home without city water service. She has told the council she she has no resources to pay to have the water line extended to her home and does she have the space on her property to allow a water well to be drilled.

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