The Early City Council had a full agenda for its Tuesday evening meeting, discussing a wide range of items.
The council’s longest conversation involved granting $7,500 in hotel occupancy tax funds to the Early Chamber of Commerce to fund its Spring Swing Golf Tournament, which will be held at the Brownwood Country Club from May 19-21.
Mike Hall said the additional funds will help cover advertising and a longer tournament this year. “The reason we’re asking for additional monies in addition to what we did in the past,” Hall said, “is it used to be a half-day on Friday and all day Saturday tournament. Now, it’s a Friday, Saturday and Sunday tournament. So instead of a one-night stay, it’s a two-night stay.”
Hall said the funds will be used to help feed and accommodate the players for an additional day. He said the tournament aims to attract players from throughout the West-Central Texas region.
During the meeting the council also voted to:
• Approve Ordinance 2005-21, the City of Early Investment Policy & Strategy as adopted in Dec. 2005. The policy is renewed on an annual basis.
• Approve Ordinance 2017-06, updating the City of Early Hotel/Motel Occupancy Tax Ordinance 92-10. “This ordinance hasn’t been reviewed since 1992,” explained assistant city administrator Larry McConn. “The state makes changes to their ordinances and laws every two years, so we have several legislative sessions that have made changes.” McConn said the change will give the city more flexibility about allocating hotel occupancy tax dollars.
• Accept the TxDOT recommendation to select a contractor and bid award for Early’s Pathways to Employment, Education and Recreation TAP Grant project.
• Award the low bid to 413 Inc. for the construction contract of a wastewater treatment plant, contingent on the final approval of the Texas Water Development Board.
• Approve the request from Apollo Computers to install wireless internet equipment on the city water tower, and allow the city administrator to negotiate a one-year agreement for its use. “They are wanting to start a new wireless internet company that would service Early and the surrounding areas,” said city administrator Tony Aaron. “They want to lease space on the water tower so they can get the equipment up there quicker and start servicing the community,” while a tower is under construction.
• Approve Resolution 2017-R05 to waive various fees for Trafalgar Homes in their townhouse development project. Trafalgar will construct at least 33 market-value rental properties in Early. “And then within five years, if the market supports it, they will go ahead and build an additional 53 units,” Aaron said.
• Approve Resolution 2017-R06 to allocate the funds from the sale of land to Trafalgar Homes to the Early Municipal Development District. The resolution also authorizes the MDD to use the revenues from the city’s rental space.
• Approve Resolution 2017-CVR04, a Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund Grant application for Heartland Cruisers Car Club.
• Authorize Aaron to negotiate terms of a contract to provide sanitation collection service for the city of Blanket. Blanket had stated its desire to work with Early on trash collection rather than contract out to a private company. “They have around 200 customers, and we should be able to pick that up in one eight-hour day,” Aaron said.
At the beginning of the meeting, Aaron also mentioned that the city’s sales tax revenue has increased slightly from this time last year. “If we maintain throughout the fiscal year the same numbers that we did last year, we would collect an excess of $250,000 above what we budgeted for,” he said.