New water operator named in Bullard

BULLARD – Local city leaders on Tuesday authorized Mayor Pam Frederick to negotiate a contract with a city manager candidate recommended by a search committee.

According to City Secretary Doris Crockett, the new candidate will be announced on Aug. 29.

A seven-member search committee working with recruiter Bob Turner of Strategic Government Resources received 50 applications for the position, which became vacant in March when then City Manager Jay Abercrombie accepted a similar position in his hometown of Henderson four months ago.

The Bullard City Council voted unanimously on the item following an executive session discussion. Council members David Rhodes and Ralph Britt were not present for the meeting, according to Crockett.

During the meeting, a public hearing was conducted at the request of Joe G. and Anne E. Moody to change zoning from “C-2” General Commercial District to “C-3” Central Business District for Lots 6A-9A and Lot 10, Block 16, at 201 W. Main St. Following the hearing, the council approved the request.

City leaders also approved two separate agenda items pertaining to the Nov. 2 Red, White, and Blue Festival: The first granted permission for the Bullard Chamber of Commerce to hold the event on city-owned property and “grant authority to include sale of beer, wine and liquor for on-premises consumption under an approved license certificate,” according to the meeting agenda. A resolution also was adopted to temporarily closed Phillips Street, a portion of Emma Street from Houston to Phillips Street, and a portion of Cain Street from Rather to Phillips Street for the festival during festival hours.

A second event, the Oct. 19 Fall Fling sponsored by downtown businesses, also was green-lighted by the council.

Other adopted agenda items included:

• Approval of an agreement with Specialized Public Finance, Inc., to serve as city's financial advisor related to issue of Tax Note Series 2019, as well as approving the city attorney to review the contract.

• Authorized Frederick to seek requests for proposals for entering into an agreement as provider for emergency medical services for the city.

• Adopted a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement to contribute $46,683.60 to the State of Texas for highway project on FM 2493 from FM 346 in Flint to U.S. Highway 69, which goes through the City of Bullard.

• Entered into an inter-local agreement with Smith County “for emergency and non-emergency law enforcement dispatch services for a four-year period” at an initial cost of $33,676.29 for the 2019-20 fiscal year; rising to $39,879.48 the following year, then to $46,974.98 for FY 2021-22; and concluding at a cost of $53,644.82 for the 2022-23 fiscal year, according to the meeting agenda.

• Entered into an inter-local agreement with the City of Jacksonville Police Department for participation privileges in that department's S.W.A.T. Team.

• Renewed the city's Tax Abatement Policy, for a two-year-period effective Aug. 13, 2019 to Aug. 12, 2021.

• Set public hearing dates for a proposed tax rate of 60.5347 per $100 property valuation for Aug. 29 and Sept. 5. The hearings will be held at 6 p.m. at City Hall, Crockett said. In separate, but related, action, the council set a Sept. 5 public hearing for the proposed 2019-20 budget, which is funded by the tax rate.

The council also adopted minutes for a July 9 regular meeting and for called meetings on July 16 and Aug. 6, as well as approved a number of staff reports.

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