Tuesday's city council meeting was held in the midst of election night frenzy, and items on the agenda carried by the council included approval to rezone property from a single family dwelling district to a one and two family residential district. Also submitted for consideration was the approval of the final plat of the Chamberlin Elementary School subdivision. All planning and zoning requests were approved.
Attorney Jeff Brown of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP gave a delinquent tax collection report. He advised the council of 467 warning letters sent to delinquent taxpayers. He reported each of the missives were written in increasing severity of tone to taxpayers deemed behind in payment.
“We continue to file lawsuits when necessary,” Brown said. “With those who don’t respond, we try to make contact before filing litigation.”
He outlined 17 lawsuits filed against 23 parcels of property, seeking restitution to the tune of nearly $18,000.
Upon filing of a suit against a delinquent taxpayer, the property owner frequently makes good on the taxes, after which the case is dismissed. Erath County Tax Assessor-Collector Jennifer Carey was credited for fostering the 13 lawsuits that have been dismissed with a tally of nearly $16,000 successfully collected.
“Mrs. Carey works with them to give them a bit of time,” he explained.
Brown praised the citizens of Erath for being responsible in tending to their financial obligations to the community.
“For the last three years, 99 percent of taxes have been paid,” he said. “That is a good tribute to the citizens of your county.”
Other praise was forthcoming to Wastewater Treatment Plant Manager Johnny Davis, who advised the council of positive numbers related to plant safety issues.
“The operations staff has not had a lost time accident or injury since October 1, 1996,” Davis reported.
Place 6 council member Alan Nix expressed his admiration for the statistics.
“I am impressed you have operated from '96 to the present with no loss of time or injuries,” he said. “It speaks of your monitoring measures and caution.”
Mayor Kenny Weldon concurred.
“One hundred percent regulatory compliance is a big deal,” he said. “There is a lot of scrutiny. To uphold it is very important for the community. It's a lot easier said than done.”