During the Regular Meeting, Council heard from attorney Derek Mendoza representing the law firm of Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins, and Mott, that currently holds the delinquent tax collection contract for the City of Needville. Mendoza thanked the Council for allowing his firm to represent the City in collection efforts. Mendoza briefly explained the collection and delinquent tax aging processes for new council members. Afterwards, the council voted unanimously to approve the renewal contract with the firm.
Bill Knesek, with the Economic Development Corporation of Needville, presented his recommendation for the City to adopt a new tax abatement policy in order to attract future business opportunities to the city. He explained that most businesses looking for a development location are often initially interested in whether municipalities under consideration offer a tax abatement. Those communities that do not are often out of future consideration.
Offering abatements is the prerogative of the city and is not required. Needville currently has an expired abatament policy. Knesek offered that the city should revise and re-adopt a current abatement policy in order to position itself for stronger future development consideration. The Development Corporation of Needville is willing to pay the costs associated with updating and reauthorizing the policy in order to send a pro-business message.
Even with an abatement policy in place, Knesek informed the council that they are not obligated to provide an abatement and have the lattitude to decide on a case-by-case basis. Currently, only one abatement has been granted within the city. The Lifechek Drug Shopping Center received a 10-year tiered abatement.
In other business, the council granted a building set-back variance for a residence at 9218 Church Street as previously approved by the Planning Commission.
Before moving into departmental reports, the Mayor Wendt took the opportunity to welcome Elizabeth Morales, a new reporter from the Fort Bend Herald. She will replace Juan Carlos Reyes’ coverage. She said she is looking forward to covering the Needville City Council.
Operations Manager Richard Vacek presented the department report and shared that the city has high water usage including 21 main breaks, five of which occurred on a 75′ section of pipe that may ultimately require replacement using grant funds. A large leak was reported as result of a brass nipple breaking near Lad’s Smokehouse. The department is adding water lines on the property behind Prosperity Bank and has struggled with broken seals, misfits, and the need to make several turns in the water lines. They hope to be easily laying pipe by Monday.
Mayor Wendt presented the Court report. In July the city issued 26 citations for 25 violations. 11 were cleared with 2 warrants issued and cleared. June court fees collected amounted to $2091.
Sgt. Rader presented the Police Report. Recent criminal activityclassified as thefts were updated to correctly reflect that they were burglaries. After detective work leading to Sweeny, arrests have been made and all property was recovered from a pawn shop in Rosenberg.
Rader also read a Thank You letter from a local resident who praised the department following through with their commitment to perform Security Checks at the resident’s home while they were away. The resident thanked the department for questioning an individual near the home in their absence and praised them for not making empty promises, which in their opinion, is common with many organizations today.
Chief Thumann reported that in July the Fire Department responded to 54 calls within the city, 13 EMS calls, 1 wreck and 1 fire. Additionally, they handled 38 calls within Fort Bend County including 20 EMS requests and 12 fires. To date the department has responded to 464 calls, almost 2 per day.
The Needville Volunteer Fire Department will hold their annual fund-raiser on August 21st and tickets may be purchased around town or at the department house.
Council adjourned at 8:30 pm. The next meeting for the Council will be a Budget Meeting on August 15th at 7:00 pm.