Three citizens attended the Coupland City Council meeting on May 8. Eldridge Tidwell was out of town. Here are the highlights of the meeting:
- There was $38,692 in the bank as of April 30.
- No one signed up to speak to the Council but Mayor Piper mentioned that there was a hole developing under the road on Hoxie Street, near the Post Office and the sewage pumping station. It will be on the next agenda but he asked Council members to take a look at it if they haven’t already seen it.
- The final plat for the Prinz Estates still has not yet been submitted.
- There was a discussion about a TxDOT project to widen and improve FM 1660 between Rice’s Crossing and SH 95. Susan Garry presented notes that her husband, Buz Garry, had taken when he attended an information meeting for landowners who will be affected the project. The City had not been informed about this meeting or the project. The Mayor reported that he contacted TxDOT and that, among other things, they said the city was supposed to pay for a part of the cost of the project, which they estimated to be about $14,000. The upshot of the following discussion of the Council members was that we simply cannot afford to make such a contribution. The Mayor said he contacted the City’s attorney, who advised taking no action at this time because the city has not yet been formally contacted. TxDOT expects to sign contracts for the work in June.
- The details of the cleanup day scheduled for May 17, which is history now, were discussed.
- There was a discussion about putting liquor by the drink on the November ballot. Currently, only private clubs are allowed to sell mixed drinks in this part of Williamson County. Tim and Barbara Worthy, the owners of the Coupland Dance Hall, were present at the meeting and the Mayor asked them for input. They said that if such a measure were passed, it would be possible to set it up so that liquor could be served until 2 AM. However, they said they are not interested in changing their current schedule. They close at midnight on Fridays and at 1 AM on Saturdays. They said they have been doing this for over 20 years. Tim said that it is primarily a dance hall and that although they serve alcoholic beverages, people primarily come there to dance. There was some discussion about the potential for additional tax revenue. The Council approved a motion to have the mayor proceed with gathering information about the process of getting liquor by the drink on the ballot.
- There was a discussion about the development of the city’s website. The City Secretary (Yours Truly) reported that, in accordance with previous instructions from the Council, he has completed work on a minimal website (cityofcouplandtx.us) which can be used to post agendas and other official documents and information. He noted that the current subdivision ordinance is available for download from the site. The Mayor said he had received a request for information from Matt Eiben to help him prepare a proposal for a website. The City Secretary reported that he has neither the time nor the skills to establish anything beyond a basic website and that if the Council would like to see a different type of website, they should provide that information so that a proposal can be drawn up. The mayor requested suggestions from Council members about what they would like to see on the website and said he would work with the City Secretary to respond to Mr. Eiben.
- There was a discussion about future audits of the city’s financial records. The Mayor said he had visited with the City Secretary of Weir, who told him that they use Leland Stevens, a CPA in Taylor, for their audit. Loretta Patschke, who was present at the Council meeting, said that Mr. Stevens has always done the audit for their real estate business and that he is very well respected in Taylor. The Mayor noted that the City of Weir does an audit only every three years.
- For the Events and Recognition portion of the meeting there was a hodgepodge of topics mentioned including the cleanup day, an uncapped well, and a discussion of rundown lots, including some that would require a brush mower at this point. Council members acknowledged that some people simply don’t have the resources to properly maintain their property, often for reasons beyond their control and that we should consider ways to assist these property owners.
The next meeting of the Coupland City Council will be on June 12.