Granite Shoals OKs small tax increase, discusses road repairs

JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

GRANITE SHOALS — The Granite Shoals City Council approved an ad valorem tax rate of 52.07 cents per $100 during its regular meeting Sept. 8.

That’s up from a previous rate of 51.98 cents.

Of that amount, 29.2 cents is for maintenance and operations, while 22.87 cents goes to interest and sinking (sometimes referred to as debt service).

“You have a small tax increase,” City Manager Ken Nickel said. “The other thing that plays into it is the property values increased, so the tax rate did not have to grow (much). The tax increase overall is to cover some of our expenses.

“I hate raising taxes,” he added, “but we needed to as we continue to grow for the city.”

Councilors also heard a presentation from Steve Kallman, president of S.D. Kallman L.P., regarding preliminary work and options for upgrades and improvements to Phillips Ranch Road, which many consider to be Granite Shoals’ main street. Nickel said Kallman made the presentation because no staff member has the skill set to examine and recommend options on what to do.

Kallman’s talk centered around cost estimates for strengthening Phillips Ranch Road and then perhaps connecting Blue Briar to RR 1431.

The projects are projected to cost about $3 million.

“We have patched (Phillips Ranch) Road over the years,” Nickel said. “The base is probably not at the right depth to take the amount and the weight of the traffic. The road has lots of potholes. I think it’s the major artery of the city. We need to make sure it can handle the amount of traffic and the weight of traffic.”

And since this was a presentation, the council took no action. Nickel said he believes councilors want some time to study, consider and discuss the best way to address the needs of the city and balance the cost.

“There’s not a done deal to do it in the next four to six months,” he said. “I wanted to have an estimation of what we thought it would cost.”

City staff also told the council they were creating an application to be considered for a $400,000 matching grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to create a soccer field for 15-and-under players, volleyball and basketball courts and batting cages. The city is also looking at developing other projects such as an area for bird watchers around the ponds. Most of the work will occur next to the Roddick Tennis Center and Manzano’s Hike, Bike & Run Trail, located next to city hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road.

Nickel said staff members plan to use city land and buildings as the matching part of the grant.

“It includes old buildings not in use for 10 to 15 years,” he said.    

The council also was told:

• of a community flu shot clinic from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Granite Shoals Fire Station, 8410 RR 1431 West. There is no cost for Medicare and Tri-Care recipients. Cost for all others is $27.

• the citywide cleanup is Oct. 31.

• the Texas Master Naturalists have chosen to have a statewide conference in Granite Shoals on Oct. 23-25, specifically to study the old Cold Spring quarry.

• the deadline to submit nomination applications for the John Rinehart Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service is Sept. 30. Go to www.graniteshoals.org for applications.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

1 thought on “Granite Shoals OKs small tax increase, discusses road repairs

  1. Interesting excuses on several fronts. The claim of “hate raising taxes” is a joke due to the open facts of the last few years. Note that now there have been 3 tax increases in less than 1 1/2 years. 2 property Tax and 1 sales tax. So where did all that money go? Just look at the truth and “pork fat” facts in their budgets. Not many years ago they spent more than $5 million on a pile of Granite and now trying to justify it by making those rocks into a $5 million + park despite the fact that most of the usable surface area is granite. Those old quarry buildings are dangerous, and developing that pile of rocks for sports related use is in opposition to clear citizen statements and findings that are in the 2010 Comprehensive Plan that state the need to spread out such items among the neighborhood parks. AND so much more…

    This past year, the Streets Committee was informed that the PRR and the PCR problems were not going to be fixed by simply covering them up with cheap materials. Yet, they wasted a lot of money on oil and rocks for PCR. It is amazing that initially an re-build estimate was provided to the Committee of approx. $400,000 for PRR and $300,000 for PCR. Now miraculously the costs of PRR alone is up to $3 million… WOW ! Maybe next year it ill be another $5 million.

    Be ready Granite Shoals citizens for yet another “hate to raise” tax increase next year to pay for their next multi- millions of dollars in Certificates of Obligation bonds that they are setting things up with excuses and reasons for you to pay. The next thing they might come up with is Humvees with rocket launchers to control speeders that outrun all those very costly Tahoe SUVs they are replacing police cars with. After all, this 4.6 square mile town has a heavy traffic control crime problem to deal with driving on their pockmarked streets where their children play.

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