The City of Pinehurst will have the same tax rate for next fiscal year as this year. The City Council approved the budget and the tax rate at its meeting on Tuesday evening.
The tax rate of $0.75813 per $100 valuation remains unchanged, but citizens of Pinehurst will see an increase in their taxes of about 1.3 percent because of the Orange County Appraisal District increasing property values countywide. The budget and the tax rate were approved unanimously by the council in a recorded vote.
Public hearings were held concerning both the budget and the tax rate during the council meeting. Mayor T. W. Permenter was disappointed that the only Pinehurst citizen to attend the meeting including the public hearings was the spouse of one of the members of the City Council. “This is why I said earlier what can we do to get the citizens to come and hear what’s taking place and not be surprised when you go out and they complain about it. They need to come and hear what the city is doing,” Permenter commented.
The council approved an ordinance establishing fees for services the city does for residents concerning water and sewer rates. The action puts Pinehurst in line with the fees other local municipalities charge their residents according to City Administrator Jerry Hood.
The fees include repairing any damage done to meters and adding water taps for the residents. The ordinance reduced the number of extensions a citizen can request to pay their bill to one per year instead of two and will not allow an extension on the same day the water would be turned off.
To-Mex was awarded the bid for doing the work on a Community Development Block Grant. To-Mex submitted the low bid of $156,164 and was recommended by Schaumburg & Polk to do the sewer work on Mockingbird Street and Enchanted Oaks Street.
The City Council approved an ordinance denying the rate increase request from Entergy Texas that was filed in August. City Attorney Tommy Gunn pointed out that this is the normal procedure for utility rate requests which are then forwarded to the Lawton law firm in Austin. That law firm reviews the rate requests before submitting them to the Public Utility Commission for approval.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-