By Mollie LaSalle
WOODVILLE – Woodville City Council held their regular monthly meeting Monday evening. Before getting down to items for consideration on the consent docket, Mayor Paula Jones asked council and visitors to observe two moments of silence; first to remember the events of September 11, and next to observe the passing of her majesty Queen Elizabeth of England.
Jones added that “former library director Rosemary Bunch was from England, and her husband John served in the house of commons in parliament for many years.”
City Administrator Mandy Risinger presented the proposed annual budget before council. Woodville is a small taxing entity with a tax rate of $0.50 per $100 evaluation.
She stressed that the price of natural gas is impacting the budget the most. She also added that the city desperately needs a new haul truck for garbage services. Any surplus funds budgeted for the truck will go into maintenance on the existing vehicles. Several other items in the budget were discussed, and it was determined that overall, the tax rate for the city has been lowered to offset higher tax appraisals; this basically means no increase in city taxes for the upcoming fiscal year.
Council approved adopting a tax rate on $100 valuation for the city for the tax year 2022 for a total tax rate of $0.3394 for the purposes of maintenance and operations. $0.0000 for the payment of principal and interest on debt of the city, for a total rate of $0.3394. The tax assessor-collector is authorized to assess and collect the city taxes at the above stated rate.
Council once again approved engaging Alexander, Lankford, and Heirs to conduct the FY audit for the year ending Sept. 30, 2022. Risinger added “we have had the same firm conduct our audits for 25 years. We need to go out for bids (different firms earlier next year) to see if we can save some money on this service.” Council also adopted a resolution designating the Tyler County Booster as the official newspaper for the city of Woodville for the fiscal year 2022-2023; “this is something we do every year” Risinger explained. “We have to approve this every year, as the Booster publishes all legal and public notices for the city”.
Council heard a discussion on 2022 utility write-offs for water and sewer services; Risinger explained that” these accounts do not add up to huge expenses, most of them are from rental properties where the person has moved and did not have the service disconnected, or from water line leaks.” “These are past due accounts, and every attempt has been made to collect” city secretary Terri Bible added. “We must remove and write these off for auditing purposes”, she said. The total written-off amount for the utility department comes to a little over $2,300.
An ordinance or a grant submission from the police department for bullet-resistant shields was approved. The police department has benefited from these grants in the past with purchases of bullet proof vests, radios and video cameras for patrol units and other items. The grant application will be submitted to the Governor’s office.
Upcoming events for the city were discussed; Risinger announced that “this is homecoming week for Woodville high school, the Tyler County Fair is fast approaching, (Oct. 5-8), and Heritage Village will host its annual Harvest Festival Oct. 14-15.
Also, Red Ribbon Week and a parade is scheduled for the last week in October, Risinger said.
The next meeting of Woodville City Council has been moved from Oct.11 (due to Columbus Day) to Oct.12 at 6 p.m.