Corsicana's City Council held a public hearing regarding the establishment of the tax rate for the 2020 budget year, and amending the Water Conservation Plan and Drought Contingency Plan during its August 12 session.
Council member Pct. 3 Chris Woolsey moved to establish a tax rate of $0.5668 for the 2020 budget year, which would cut property taxes from the previous year by $133,218. The motion failed from lack of a second from council members.
The Council approved a proposed draft resolution for a tax rate of $0.6272 in regards to the 2020 budget year. This increase raises more money for property taxes, providing less money for maintenance and operations. The increase will not raise taxes paid by a homeowner. Woolsey gave the sole opposing vote for this motion.
The Council will later vote on the property tax rate resolution, with the first public hearing being held on Aug. 26, and a second public hearing on Sept. 9. A vote on property tax rate and balancing the 2020 budget will be held on Sept. 23
Joanna Fritz. President and CEO of the Corsicana & Navarro County Chamber of Commerce, presented the Corsicana Convention and Visitor's Bureau quarterly report.
Corsicana themed ads have been placed in Southern Travel + Lifestyles and several other publications, and new visitor maps are now available at the Chamber of Commerce, Visitor Center, and several downtown businesses.
Council member Pct. 4 Jeff Smith commented on having seen eighteen billboards between Dallas and Corsicana on a recent drive. “Made you want to get off the interstate, didn't it,” Fritz asked. “I had no choice,” joked Smith, his response met by the public's laughter.
The Council approved amendments to a water conservation and emergency water demand management plan, outlining the City of Corsicana's 5-year water use goal of 160 gallons per capita per day by 2024, with a 10-year goal of 152 gallons per capita per day by 2029. These amendments would also reduce unaccounted water loss in the city's water distribution system by 16 percent by 2024, with the 10-year goal of water loss of 15 percent for 2029.
The Council approved the sale of the property located at 4000 W. Second Ave. The sale was previously tabled from the July 22 meeting. The Council has received the proposal from Navarro Central Appraisal District for purchase of the property, with the final purchase expected to be completed soon, and first payment beginning January 2020. Woolsey was the sole opposing vote for this motion.
The public forum opened the floor to attending residents, allowing them to share their thoughts on recent and upcoming events.
Resident John Parks commended City Manager Connie Standridge, Mayor Don Denbow, and the City Council for their hard work on the 2020 budget year.
Director and co-founder of 100W Kyle Hobratschk appeared on behalf of the Corsicana Art Committee to share a report of the last committee meeting that reviewed a proposal to install a mural on the back of the building at 108 S. Beaton St. Two proposals were presented, providing there was some consideration of scale to forward to appropriate committees.
Volunteer police officer Michael S. Ray expressed concern that any proposed tax in the 2020 budget process not cut salaries or reduce benefits for local law enforcement. Ray praised local law enforcement, stating any proposed cut results in “You get what you pay for” regarding value for their services.
Library Director Dr. Marianne Crandall Wilson shared 2019 statistics for the Corsicana Public Library during the months of June and July, highlighting over 13,000 visitors, 400 new library cards, 6,000 people for their summer reading programs, and over 1,000 reading logs for children an amount of 104,200 minutes read, approximating nearly 2,000 hours.
"It is so gratifying to see the support the library receives from the city leadership and the Corsicana community,” said Wilson, delighted with the praise received by Mayor Denbow.
“I have worked for many cities in my library career, but Corsicana has just been so generous in its support and praise,” added Wilson. “I am thrilled to be part of this community."
The Oct. 7 council meeting has been changed from Oct 14. The Oct. 29 council meeting has been changed from Oct. 28.
Future Council events for the fall include a public hearing on budget will be held on Sept. 9, and a vote on property tax rate and balancing the 2020 budget will be held on Sept. 23. As deemed necessary by the city, a budget work session is scheduled for Sept. 19.
Upcoming community events for the public include:
Navarro County and City of Corsicana will be holding a tire disposal event at 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Navarro County Exposition Center.
E-waste Day will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Navarro County Exposition Center parking lot.
The twenty-first annual Corsicana Air Show will be held Sept. 7 at the Corsicana Municipal Airport. Gates open at 8:30 a.m.