The Dublin city council heard from Erath County Tax Assessor/Collector Jennifer Carey during their regular meeting Monday night. Carey was on hand to inform all the “new faces” on the council of the policies and procedures regarding setting the city’s tax rate. She explained that there is a formula that cities follow to calculate their effective tax rate, a rate which will cover the city’s debts.
Carey explained that, in the past, the council has chosen to keep the rate as low as possible and in turn “got hammered” last year by the amount of money that was necessary to settle the city’s debts.
Dublin’s effective tax rate last year was $1.02, an amount that is considered high for cities. This year, Carey has worked with the city manager and city secretary to get the rate down to something the city can live with. So far, Carey has calculated a rate of .950 for the city, with 33 cents of that going toward the city’s debts.
The city council scheduled a public hearing on the tax rate for Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers. This meeting is a chance for citizens to come and ask questions regarding the tax rate.
Though taxes are serious business, the council still had work to do. The ordinance committee recommended that the council pass a measure that would require animal owners to keep their pets on a leash when out and about in Dublin. The ordinance, which passed unanimously, also states that animals must be tethered while riding in the bed of a truck or other vehicle.
City Manager Jerry Guillory also gave an update on the restoration of Dublin’s Gristmill, which sits across from the library. The gristmill project has been ongoing for 10 years, and the city was finally able to open the bidding process last month. After receiving bids, the council voted to approve the bid to Jay Mills Contracting pending the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) approval. The state, however, chose not to accept the bid because of discrepancies in the bid price and the estimated costs. Guillory told the council that he was working with TxDOT to get the project moving and that he was in a hurry to do so because he fears the project may reach a “point of no return” when the building could not be salvaged.
The city council also discussed the hanging of signage that would reinforce a law recently passed during the 81st Texas Legislature that prohibits the use of wireless communication devices while driving in a school zone. The council and police chief hope to have some signage up by the time students go back to school.
Guillory also gave an update on Dublin’s pool, which opened last month. According to Guillory, the pool has realized $6,433 in revenue, but the lifeguard supply is dwindling with the beginning of two-a-days and other school-related activities. Despite the skeleton crew, the city hopes to keep the pool open, but they have chosen to close on Mondays and Wednesdays to alleviate the lifeguard shortage. The city hopes to keep the pool open on weekends once school starts.
The city council will meet again next month for their regular meeting. They meet on the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.