By Chris Edwards
IVANHOE – In the regular monthly meeting of the Ivanhoe City Council last Thursday, Mayor Cathy Bennett recognized National Teachers Day before the council tackled the regular agenda.
Bennett read a proclamation for the city to honor the teachers of Woodville ISD and Warren ISD, both of which service the City of Ivanhoe on Oct. 5.
She encouraged members of the community to display a light blue ribbon outside of their homes during that week to show support for educators.
On the regular agenda, Bennett began with her report and said “A lot has been going on in Ivanhoe in the last few weeks.” She spoke to tensions within the community and addressed rumors and false information circulating primarily on social media platforms.
Many comments from several public forum speakers during a previous special-called meeting, dealt with the city’s ordinance on recreational vehicles on city thoroughfares.
Bennett said it is apparent the council needs to take a serious look at the city’s ordinances and get input regarding various issues. She called for a town hall meeting to take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22.
The agenda, she said, will include the topics of recreational vehicles; home-based businesses and air B&Bs, and encouraged any residents who have other topics to include, to let her know.
“If we get together as a community, we can talk about things, we can ask questions and clarify stuff,” Bennett said.
Later in the meeting, councilmember David Herrington addressed some of the misinformation circulating regarding RVs in the city.
“If anybody tells anybody that somebody is coming after you, or it’s someone’s intention to get rid of RVs altogether in Ivanhoe, it’s just hogwash,” he said. “RVs have always been a part of this community,” he added.
In other news, Bennett reported that she had met with the city’s GLO representative for the city’s $11.4 million and $8 million grants.
She said there are documents that she and Marion Blackstone are working to get to the state Historical Commission in order for environmental studies to be conducted for projects.
Bennett said the representative is “very pleased” with the work that the grant administrator and engineers are doing for the city.
Another grant of more than $1.9 million through DETCOG is in the works and will be utilized to repair and re-pave as much of Lakewood as possible, Bennett said.
Budget, tax rate hearings set
The hearings were set for the date of Wednesday, Sept. 28 for the city’s proposed fiscal year 2023 budget and tax rate.
The hearing for the budget was set for 5:30 p.m. on that date and the tax rate hearing for 6 p.m. A special meeting was also set to adopt the FY 2023 budget and tax rate on the same date for 6:30 p.m.
The proposed tax rate for the city’s coming fiscal year is $0.7550 per $100 of valuation. The current fiscal year budget is operating off the 2022 rate which is $0.7281 of valuation, or the no-new-revenue tax rate.
The proposed rate is an increase over the no-new-revenue rate, but not greater than the voter-approved rate of $0.7567, which would not require an election for voters to accept or reject the rate.
The rate was unanimously approved by council.