Recently elected or re-elected Magnolia City Council members Anne Sundquist, Jeff Chumley and Richard Carby were sworn in at the city council meeting June 11 and Patsy Williams was re-elected Mayor Pro Tem for the city.
Council members approved $5,000 for the Renaissance Festival for its 2013 sponsorship of the city. They then agreed to approve a contract, once amendments including a reschedule date and insurance statement are added, for $10,000 to American Fireworks, for the display planned for the Fourth of July Celebration in Unity Park.
The city budget workshop is scheduled for June 18, and City Administrator Paul Mendes mentioned that now, in the fourth quarter of this year's budget, only 66% of the funds have been spent, which he says, is a reflection of good planning.
The topic of annexation came up again, with several small-acre parcels near the current city limits being annexed by the council. They approved creation of a water control and improvement district within the area of extraterritorial jurisdiction and agreed to add a realtor to the Impact Fee Advisory Committee.
Council also agreed to appointments to fill completed terms on 4A Economic Development Corporation, the 4B Community Development Corporation and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The council authorized Sugar Land based Kendig Keast Collaborative to review all residential and commercial ordinances and make recommendations on behalf of the city's comprehensive plan which was adopted in April. Kendig Keast was instrumental in the formulation and publishing of the plan, which can be found on the city's website.
Council members approved a cost of service adjustment clause for the services of Hughes Natural Gas that will result in an annual rate evaluation, instead of going several years without a change, which could result in a sudden high cost increase. This year the rate will go down, thanks to lower natural gas prices.
Magnolia Police Chief Domingo Ibarra reported that the loose dog ordinance is being enforced and mentioned an arrest warrant will be issued if a citizen gets bitten.
Magnolia experienced a bank robbery last month, but the perpetrators were caught within 45 minutes by vigilant Magnolia PD officers and "Every dollar was returned to the bank," according to Ibarra.
The red light cameras are still bringing in city revenue, but most of the violators seem to have learned their lesson, Ibarra said. He went on to mention that 91 percent of the violators do not repeat and there has been a 73 percent reduction in violations recently. Ibarra also mentioned that most of the red light violations take place on Saturdays.
Ibarra requested that ammunition funding be allocated at least a year ahead due to the fact that ammunition is becoming difficult to obtain all over the nation. He stated that Sgt. Holman was made the supervising officer for the Police Reserve Program, and that the department recently submitted a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant application to the Federal government. If accepted, this grant could save the city up to 75% of the salary for an additional officer.
City Administrator Paul Mendes reported that the court revenues last month were $51,000 and the code enforcement is continuing, even from the hospital bed of the code enforcement officer, who is recovering from a health issue. Mendes stated that building permits continue to rise, and a big-box store, Tractor Supply, will be breaking ground soon for its building on Buddy Riley Blvd.
Magnolia Scout Troop 1114's Michael Schneider, who recently earned his Eagle Scout rank, received a plaque from Mayor Todd Kana. Schneider is the second Troop 1114 Scout from Magnolia United Methodist Church to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in 2013. Schneider's Eagle project improved the safety of the church's parking lot using directional traffic signs. He graduated this year from Klein High School and plans to attend Lone Star College University Park in the fall.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the next scheduled Council meeting was moved from July 9 to July 16 at 8 p.m.