Brownwood City Council members tabled action on the sole bid Tuesday for the construction of the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center because of the amount of the bid.

Waldrop Construction’s bid of $496,726 was more than the amount the city has allocated for the construction, council members were told.

The council followed a recommendation from city staff to table action until officials can meet with representatives of the Brown County Humane Society and construction company and discuss ways to reduce costs.

Plans call for building a 3,600-square-foot building on property next to the existing building on Milam Drive. The Humane Society will combine $100,000 of its funds with $262,000 from a city certificate of obligation issued in 2002, officials have said.

In other business Tuesday, Brownwood City Council members approved ordinances on first readings Tuesday to set the property tax rate and utility rates for the 2007-’08 fiscal year.

The ordinances require second and third readings to become final.

The council approved a property tax rate of 74.52 cents per $100 valuation, a 5.7 percent reduction from the current rate of 78.99 cents.

City Finance Director Walter Middleton told council members the average taxable value of a Brownwood home increased by 3 percent, from $64,274 to $66,223, and the property tax bill on an average home will decrease from $508 a year to $493 with the new rate.

Increases in water, sewer and sanitation rates will increase the average residential account by $4.78 a month — $3.30 for the water rates, 72 cents for the sewer rates and 76 cents for the sanitation rates, Middleton told the council.

The increases in the sanitation and sewer rates are needed to cover the increased costs of fuel, parts and material, Middleton said. He said the increases in the water rates are needed to cover an increase in the costs of treated water from the Brown County Water Improvement District and to fund increased bond payments for water district improvements.

Also Tuesday, the council:

Received the Commander’s Award for public service from the 21st Cavalry Brigade at Fort Hood. Plaques were presented to Mayor Bert Massey honoring the city and to airport manager Sharlette Bain in honor of the airport’s support of the Army. Approved the closure of portions of Booker and Gill streets on Oct. 13, 2007 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for St. Mary’s Catholic Church’s annual fall festival. Approved a parade permit on Oct. 27, 2007 for Howard Payne University’s Homecoming Parade. Denied a request to close the back portion of Riverside Park the evening of Oct. 13 for a wedding, reception and dinner. Approved designating the Texas Water Development Board reimbursement of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study that cost $96,501 as a special revenue fund to be used for drainage projects. Approved an ordinance on first reading setting charges for fees, rentals, licenses and permits. approved the fiscal year 2007-’08 budget of the Brownwood Economic Development Corp. Approved a variance to the set back requirement for a sign to be located at the new HPU soccer field. Authorized the city to purchase cell phone service from Sprint through the State of Texas Purchasing Cooperative. Approved a community facilities agreement between WG-Brownwood 07, LP and the City of Brownwood. Rejected the sole bid for the microsurfacing of streets because Viking Construction’s bid of $231,516 exceeded the amount the city had allocated. Agreed to vote for JoAnn Franke, the city’s human resources director, in the Texas Municipal League Region 6, 2007 board of trustee election. Ratified Massey’s appointment of Pat Coursey and Harry Miller Jr. to the Brownwood Economic Development Corp. board, and Cathy Day and Mary Acuna to the Brownwood Housing Authority board.