Golf course group gains support from City Council on new plans

With a full house present, the Brady City Council met Wednesday morning with four public hearings on the agenda’one of which gave local citizens a chance to voice their opinions about the possibility of another nine holes at the Brady Golf Course. The hearing generated the most interest and was in concern to the proposed annexation of land surrounding the Brady Municipal Golf Course. Jim Quinn, spokesman for the Heart of Texas Golf Association, addressed the Council and highlighted the Association’s new goal of creating an additional nine holes at the golf course. Quinn stated that the money has already been applied for and plans to redesign the new course which will include a state-of-the-art watering system and the Association is in the process of acquiring almost $200,000 worth of land which is currently under contract. The money required to fund the project is expected to come from private donations, local foundations and grants. “Our goal is to do this without any cash handouts from the City,” Quinn said. “The golf course is a positive cash flow within the city. From what we have found out from surrounding cities that have added nine holes, they have increased their revenue fourfold on the average and in other situations, sixfold. “This is going to place money in the city budget and will take a little bit of the burden off of our tax dollars that the City has to collect.” Excited about the project, Mayor Clarence Friar said, “This will work this time. It’s going to be funded by grants and private donations and it’s a ‘done deal’ to me as far as I’m concerned. It’s not going to cost the citizens anything.” The Association along with the project architect estimate the expansion to cost $1.8 to $2 million to complete. Earlier in the meeting, Kim King with the Brady Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) presented the Council with the corporation’s annual activity report. According to BEDC bylaws, it is a requirement that the annual activities report which consists of a financial statement, an upcoming budget and expenses be presented to the City Council. In his statement to the Council, King mentioned that the primary focus of the BEDC this past year was the construction of Hangar C at Curtis Field which now houses Texas AeroColor, an aircraft painting business that has been operating out of one of the older hangars at the airport for the past two years. The BEDC played an important role in both the financing and construction of the new hangar and will receive $1,600 per month from Texas AeroColor for the next 10 years through their lease agreement. After 10 years the lease will be renewed for an additional five years and after BEDC recoups its principal, the city will assume ownership of Hangar C. King added that BEDC as well as the McCulloch County Industrial Foundation have spent more time and money this year than in any year in the past trying to promote and generate new business growth within McCulloch County and the City of Brady. Following King’s address to the Council, the public hearing on questions or comments regarding the Parks Master Plan was opened to the audience. Few questions other than where the plan can be viewed were asked of the Council. Mayor Friar commented that copies of the plan are available for viewing at City Hall through City Secretary Christi McAnally. The next hearing open for questioning concerned the establishment of an Enterprize Zone in the City of Brady. According to Mike Trollinger with the McCulloch County Industrial Foundation, the last Enterprize Zone was initiated in 1993 and expired last year. “What we want to do is re-establish this Enterprize Zone,” said Trollinger. “It does not change any of the zoning laws, and if we have this in place it helps the City with grants.” Trollinger asked that the City expand the new zone out to include the area surrounding Curtis Field. The old Enterprize Zone included Heartland Rig International but cut out the remainder of the airport. “We’re asking that the City continue this out to include all of Curtis Field for the economic potential that exists out at the airport,” said Trollinger. “What this means to a business that locates or expands in the Enterprize Zone is that they can get a $2,000/per job rebate on state sales taxes they pay.” Once closed as a public hearing, the Council moved forward to approved the first reading of the ordinance establishing the new City of Brady Enterprise Zone. Upon approval of all three ordinance readings, the enterprise zone will remain in effect for the next seven years. In other business, the Council approved the first reading of an ordinance levying taxes for the use and support of the City of Brady for the year 2001. The same tax rate was approved with no proposed increase for the City of Brady. After questions rang out as to why the item was being approved after the start of a new fiscal year, Mayor Friar stated that the item was an oversight on behalf of the city staff. “This was our fault that we missed this,” said Friar. “It should have already been done, and I apologize to the City of Brady for missing this. It was an oversight, and we didn’t intend to break a law.” An ordinance amending Ordinance No. 631 designating truck routes in the City of Brady was approved. The amendment to the ordinance is to redirect trucks away from Commerce Street which runs in front of Super S Foods and down through portions of the Brady Housing District. “It’s my belief that we shouldn’t have a truck route through that area,” said Councilman Donald Barley. The truck route in that particular street was established before houses were built in the area and the amendment would eliminate trucks in that particular residential area. Barley also proposed eliminating the truck route on East 10th Street that turns into South Blackburn and suggested that trucks be rerouted to turn on 11th street. “I think we need to keep the trucks on the state highways,” said Barley. “They’re built to handle that type of traffic, and ours are not.” With Barley’s recommendations for changes, the ordinance was approved on the first reading. Next, the Council authorized the Heart of Texas Golf Association to oversee construction of the additional nine holes at the golf course. In another action item, the Council voted to award a bid to Joe Moore Pipe Line for the $146,207 for the TCDP water and sewer improvement project. According to City Manager Merle Taylor, the bid is under budget by $20,000. The City received an 80/20 grant from the Council of Governments to complete this phase of the improvement project. Stating that the Brady City Councilmen have realized that the City of Brady is not interested as acting as a leasing agent for the G. Rollie White Complex, the Council voted to authorize the Brady/McCulloch County Chamber of Commerce as the official leasing agent for the complex. The Chamber will receive 25 percent of the profits from complex rentals. Finally, the Council listened as Loretta Murray discussed the activities of the Brady Police Department regarding the recent bomb threats to the Brady Independent School District. Mrs. Murray questioned what type of crisis management exists in Brady and who makes the decisions in the event of a crisis. Mrs. Murray and a handful of other parents also questioned why teachers were directing students away from campuses instead of officers with the Brady Police Department. Brady Police Chief John Stewart addressed the Council as well as Mrs. Murray and stated that only one officer was on duty patrolling the streets when the initial call came in, but others were dispatched to schools shortly after. Mayor Friar informed members of the audience that the City officials as well as the police department and County officials will be reviewing the current crisis management plan that was written in 1982 and will bring it up to date and rewrite it if necessary to ensure that all offices will be better prepared in the event that this unfortunate incident occurs again. The Council closed comments portion of the meeting by adding that an open house will be held Friday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the new law enforcement building.

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