Two people addressed the Stephenville City Council to request funds Tuesday during a public hearing held on the proposed city budget for the fiscal year 2007-2008.
Nyki Wyatt, who lives in the 100 block of Spring Bouquet St., spoke on behalf of residents in her neighborhood and requested that more money be allocated in the budget for storm water drainage improvements in her area.
She told the council that the drainage in her area of town was inadequate to efficiently handle the runoff from heavy rains, even if it is no more than one inch of water.
“The storm water run off is due to street construction and new housing developments diverting water into the area,” Wyatt said. “The water volume has increased with the addition of two new streets.”
She said the current of the water is extremely strong and a small child could be swept off his feet and end up in the Bosque River.
Wyatt distributed pictures of the area to members of the council that demonstrated the accumulation of water in the area. She said one resident had water running into his garage during the recent rains.
Council members asked about the requirements for developers to provide adequate storm water drainage and questioned whether the drains are filled with debris or whether the system is inadequate.
City Administrator Mark Kaiser said that $50,000 is included in the budget for maintenance operations to provide financing of cleaning some of the ditches. He said there are nine drainage areas the city staff has identified and the area discussed by Wyatt is one of them.
Doug McLemore, president of Meals on Wheels, also asked the council to reconsider deleting the $2,000 originally allocated in the budget for the Meals on Wheels program.
“I read comments from the last meeting and the decision was the council doesn’t want to fund a charity,” he said. “Meals on Wheels is not really a charity. It is a social service to provide meals and is a service to our community.”
He said 74 percent of the individuals who receive Meals on Wheels are residents of Stephenville. He also said the organization receives funding from the North Texas Council of Governments as well as Erath County.
Council members agreed that the program was beneficial to the community and suggested that private contributions, rather than city tax dollars, should be used to fund the meals. They also pointed out that everyone who lives in Stephenville also lives in Erath County and is contributing tax dollars to the program through the county.
McLemore concluded his appeal by assuring the council that he would be back next year with the same request.
The council also approved the date of Sept. 4 and Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at Stephenville City Hall for a public hearing on the tax rate. The adoption of the budget is scheduled for Sept. 4.