BRENHAM CITY COUNCIL GIVES NOTICE OF DEBT ISSUANCE, TAKES FIRST STEP IN CREATING DRAINAGE UTILITY SYSTEM

  

Public Works Director Dane Rau gives details to the Brenham City Council about the proposed Drainage Utility System and Drainage Utility Charge.

The Brenham City Council gave official notice of intent to issue nearly $5.7 million in debt at its meeting today (Thursday).

The council gave notice of the city’s plans to issue $5.69 million in certificates of obligation.

The $5.69 million is made up of $3.5 million for general government projects, $1.42 million for wastewater utility improvements, and $765,000 for water system utility projects. City officials discussed issuing certificates of obligation during the council’s budget workshops for the 2019-20 budget.

Chief Financial Officer Carolyn Miller said the general government projects include street reconstruction and rebuilding, along with street and drainage improvements. The wastewater utility improvements include a new regional lift station to support the Baker Katz retail development project.  Much of the water utility improvements are for the Atlow Storage Tower rehab project and the city’s portion of the May 2016 flooding event.

Miller said the city’s financial adviser, Garry Kimball, will handle the securing of pricing for the certificates of obligation. Kimball is expected to bring the item back before council at its meeting on January 16th.

Also at today’s meeting, the council heard from Public Works Director Dane Rau on the city’s proposed Drainage Utility System and Drainage Utility Charge. Rau went into detail on why the system and charge are needed, with one stated reason being that taxes are not enough to adequately fund drainage improvements.

 

 

A charge of $3.75 per month has been proposed for residential utility customers. The charge is based on the cost of drainage services and the contribution of stormwater runoff by residential and non-residential properties.  The maximum monthly charge for a non-residential property, based on impervious area of the parcel, would be $300.  Rau reiterated that the charge is not a tax, but a utility fee.

Public Works Director Dane Rau shows a sign that will be put out at the site of projects being funded by the city's proposed Drainage Utility Charge.

Rau explained that revenue from the Drainage Utility Fund must be used exclusively for stormwater maintenance and capital improvement projects. He expects the charge to bring in an additional $660,000 in fees and revenues, which will help fund over $4.1 million in identified capital improvement projects over the next few years.

After Rau’s presentation, the council approved first reading of an ordinance establishing a Drainage Utility System. The second reading of the ordinance and adoption of the system, along with the first reading of the ordinance establishing the Drainage Utility Charge, will take place on December 5th. The official adoption of the charge is scheduled for the council’s meeting on December 19th.

The council also:

  • Held public hearing on and authorized the submission of a grant application to Texas Parks and Wildlife, for Phase I of the proposed Brenham Family Park.  The fifty percent matching grant has a ceiling of $750,000.  Rau said grant awards will be announced in mid-May.
  • Submitted a grant application to Texas Parks and Wildlife through the Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP) Grant for Angler Education Week at the Blue Bell Aquatic Center.  The Blue Bell Aquatic Center is asking Texas Parks and Wildlife for $10,599 to help expand upon its annual KidFish event and turn it into a full week of events in late October.  Aquatic Supervisor Tammy Jaster said she would know by the first part of April if the city has received the grant.
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