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.