The Pinehurst City Council had a full agenda Tuesday night. The budget and tax rate for next fiscal year were given initial approval by the council.
City Administrator Robbie Hood provided some of the details of the city’s balanced almost 3-million-dollar budget. Included is a 15 percent increase in the cost of health insurance for Pinehurst city employees from the Texas Municipal League (TML). T K Health Insurance reviewed several insurance packages for the city and recommended staying with TML. Hood added, “The budget allows for a three percent pay raise for employees with the City of Pinehurst.”
A public hearing for the proposed budget will be held on September 12 prior to the next City Council meeting before it is formally approved. The council also approved the effective tax rate of 69.762 cents per 100 dollars value for next year.
Republic Services is in the final year of a three-year contract with Pinehurst and is raising its price by 3.4 percent. The City Council approved passing that increase on to Pinehurst citizens in their collection fees charged by the city.
At the recommendation of the city staff Keri Michutka was approved by the City Council to perform the annual audit for Pinehurst at the end of the fiscal year September 30. The audit for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 will be reviewed at a called meeting on Tuesday, August 22, at 6:00 PM. This audit was delayed when the previous accounting firm Sandersen & Scheffer failed to deliver it. The final audit was completed by the firm of Riggs & Ingram.
Following a public hearing and at the recommendation of Code Enforcement Officer Harry Vine the council approved the condemnation of a property located at 3490 Pelican. The owner said she is in the process of selling the property. Vine’s recommendation included allowing 30 days for the owner to sell the property and an additional 90 days for the structure on it to be improved to meet Pinehurst city codes. At least 11 items on the outside of the structure needed attention according to Vine.
The City Council reappointed Tommy Gunn and Debbie Cormier to their longtime positions with Pinehurst after their annual evaluations. Gunn has served as the City Attorney since August 1988, and Cormier has been the City Secretary since October 2007.
Pinehurst will be losing one of its Aldermen though. Dan Barclay officially announced he was resigning from the City Council since he is moving to Corpus Christi to be closer to family members there. Barclay said he appreciated and thanked the members of the council with which he served. He also praised the professionalism of the city staff. “We’ll miss it, but I believe you all can handle it,” Barclay admitted. Barclay was presented a plaque thanking him for his years of service on the Pinehurst City Council beginning in 2008.
At the beginning of the meeting Pinehurst received some good news. Jim Malain with Entergy Texas presented a check to the city for $1,000 to be used to help fund the annual Senior Citizens’ Labor Day Picnic in Pinehurst.