The Stephenville City Council voted Tuesday to levy city property tax and budget amendments.

Councilman Alan Nash prefaced the vote with additional explanations of the city tax rate, which will be reduced, but with funds already available, there will still be improvements and maintenance of the city's properties.

Council passed the motion to levy the proposed 2007 city property tax of .445.

The amended budget was approved with adjustments recommended. Following the business meeting, the council met in work session.

During the session, Bob Lewis, environmental safety and DOT compliance manager, and Richard Varnel, project staff, presented Genuine Parts Company's application for Municipal Setting Designation (MSD). A portion of the property that was formerly Rayloc Industries has a contaminated water site. Varnel explained how the clean up would be conducted which could be concluded within six months.

Varnel said well owners within a five-mile radius will be notified of the contamination.

The MSD would provide quicker clean up and resale of property.

City Administrator Mark Kaiser asked if the city would be libel in any way. Varnel said the city would not.

Kaiser said, “Environmental clearance will be needed to move the sale of the property rather than let it sit.

He said potential buyers will not want to purchase the land if it is not “remediated.

Lewis said the MSD would encourage other developers to come to the area.

Kaiser said there would be mail outs, a Nov. 6 public hearing, and a second one on Dec. 4.

Draft ordinances are being prepared.

(For more on the council, see Thursday's edition of the Empire-Tribune.)

SHERRY BOARDMAN is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune and can be reached at or 254-965-3124, ext. 229.