Pattison City Council discusses growth measures, budgeting

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 9/2/20

During its regular meeting Sept. 1 via Zoom, the Pattison City Council met to discuss several items as it moves toward adopting a budget for the next fiscal year and ordinances that may help the …

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Pattison City Council discusses growth measures, budgeting

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During its regular meeting Sept. 1 via Zoom, the Pattison City Council met to discuss several items as it moves toward adopting a budget for the next fiscal year and ordinances that may help the small city as it grows.

At the top of the agenda, council members discussed platting with an applicant that is trying to develop land within the city limits. The applicant expressed frustration with the lack of clarity in the city’s process which council members and Mayor Joe Garcia worked to resolve. Items of concern were technical needs revolving around the submission of an initial plat application, city staff said. Garcia said he would work with the applicant and city engineer to finalize the last few things needed for the plat to go through and council eventually approved the initial plat on the condition that all shortcomings in the application be corrected prior to the final plat being submitted for approval.

City Attorney Lora Lensch and the council discussed a proposed platting ordinance that may help clarify the process and help future applicants as development begins to move into the city. Lensch said she was in the process of reformatting the document and council members asked that the document be ordered in a way that was both compliant with state law and easily understood by potential developers and land owners in the city as they move through the processes for land maps, preliminary plats and final plats. The matter was then tabled so those changes could be moved forward.

“I’d like to work towards having a simple flow of this process so that we can move it along because it’s really going to get bogged down if we have something – whether it’s in the old part of town or something significant – to require us to break down the subdivision into something that we can manage,” Garcia said.

Council did pass an ordinance relating to nuisance properties within the city that have become overgrown with brush or developed other unsightly or hazardous conditions.

“This ordinance kind of spells it out. This ordinance also serves as a foundation for other uses that maybe we need to evade. We can amend this ordinance and add things as we go,” Garcia said.

Council members did note that the ordinance would also require the city to address similar nuisances on city property and rights of way that it does not necessarily have money for right away but would have to address.

A third ordinance relating to the cell towers being built in the city was approved as well. The ordinance would require a $250 application fee and that the applicant pay for any other related costs such as engineering. Garcia said no cell companies were planning towers in the city at this time, but inquiries had been made.

Staff from the city secretary’s office indicated that about 50% of the town’s population had completed the U.S. Census. City staff have repeatedly stated that completing the census is vital for the city because it establishes a basis for a variety of items including eligibility for federal funding in emergencies. Residents have until Sept. 30 to complete the Census.

A public hearing to review the city’s proposed budget was set for Sept. 22 with a special city council session scheduled afterward to adopt the budget.

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