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Bonham City Council names Employee of the Month, continues effort to improve infrastructure
By Allen Rich
Mar 13, 2019
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Bonham, Texas -- Bonham City Council continued the process of upgrading water and sewer infrastructure, approved an application for TxDOT's safe routes to school program and named the city's Employee of the Month for February during a regular meeting held Monday, March 12, 2019.

Teresa Cline has been selected as City of Bonham Employee of the Month for February 2019. The announcement came Monday, March 11, 2019 during a regular meeting of Bonham City Council. Teresa is a Customer Service Clerk with the Utility Billing Department and has worked for the City of Bonham since June 18, 2001.

Teresa has been nominated every month since the inception of the Employee of the Month program. Some examples of why her fellow employees nominated her include, "She steps up to every task asked of her," "She is a great example to follow and a joy to work with," "There is not much she can't do," and "She is always a cheerful person and always happy to help people."

(L-R) Bonham City Councilmember John Trubey, Teresa Cline and Brad Nichols, City of Bonham Human Resources

Each Employee of the Month receives four hours of paid time off and a $50 gift certificate. At the end of the year, the Employee of the Year will receive eight hours of paid time off and a $250 gift certificate. The awards are part of an initiative to provide more incentives and improve morale among city employees.

The regular meeting opened with Bonham City Council approving minutes from the February 11 regular meeting and the February 25 workshop.

Councilmembers were informed that the financial report for the month ending February 28, 2019 would be completed by the end of the week.

In the segment of the regular meeting reserved for Citizens Opportunity to Speak, a National Guard recruiter addressed city council and said he was looking forward to engaging with the community.

Bonham City Councilmember Jerry Gay stood up to speak, however local attorney Michael Evans was in the audience and advised Mr. Gay that this segment was specifically for citizens to address city council and stated that it would be in violation of the Open Records Act for any member of city council to speak during the segment. Councilmember Wayne Moore also stated that he would be opposed to the apparent breach in protocol. Gay didn't press the issue any further and sat down

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Allison Wylie of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP presented the quarterly collection report to Bonham City Council. Ms. Wylie noted an unusually large number of tax deferrals by city residents over 65 or disabled veterans.

Lawmakers have provided several types of special property tax relief for qualified older or disabled homeowners. Generally, you will qualify for one of these if you are 65 years of age or older, or if you are the over-55 surviving spouse of a qualified person who died at age of 65 or older, or if you are a 100% disabled veteran, or if you meet all the qualifications for a disability homestead exemption.

"You have a lot for a town this size," Wylie said of the city's number of tax deferrals.

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Bonham City Council approved an application for TxDOT's safe routes to schools program. If approved by TxDOT, this $328,000 sidewalk project to enhance the safety of students traveling to and from I.W. Evans and L.H. Rather would be completely funded through TxDOT.

The possibility of applying for safe routes to Bonham High School was also discussed, although this would require a 20% match from the City of Bonham, as well as the city paying for engineering and associated developmental costs.

 

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 To finance improvements and expansion of water and sewer infrastructure, Bonham City Council adopted an ordinance authorizing the issuance of City of Bonham, Texas Combination Tax and Surplus Revenue Certificates of Obligation, Series 2019 A, in the principal amount of $4,810,000 and awarding the sale of such certificates of obligation to the Texas Water Development Board. The City of Bonham locked in an interest rate of 1.169%.

Councilmembers also adopted an ordinance authorizing the issuance of City of Bonham, Texas Combination Tax and Surplus Revenue Certificates of Obligation, Series 2019 B, in the principal amount of $9,830,000 and awarding the sale of such certificates of obligation to the Texas Water Development Board. 

"This is the first step to improve water/sewer infrastructure while also increasing capacity and preparing the system for east-west growth," explained Bonham City Manager Sean Pate. "Street improvements will follow."

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Dr. Daniel Oney, Ph.D. gave a brief presentation of Bonham Housing Action Plan, a multi-dimensional market housing strategy designed to address the 400-unit housing deficit that resulted from underinvestment during the Great Recession (2007-2012), while also considering the predicted increase in housing needs in a city with a new $30 million high school and a county with a $1.6 billion dollar reservoir under construction and an $18 million courthouse restoration underway.

Dr. Daniel Oney, Ph.D.

Staff is expected to develop actionable items to implement and present a detailed strategy to Bonham City Council in the April-May timeframe.

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The City of Bonham advertised for bids to lease Hangar 100 at Jones Field Airport and received one bid of $1,205 per month, which is slightly more than the revenue currently being collected from the "maintenance hangar." Bonham City Council accepted the bid.

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Bonham City Council approved a Special Use Permit at 221 N. Main St from Commercial to Single Family Residential for a living area only. The Certificate of Occupancy will be awarded specifically to the living area.  If the current owner vacates the premises, the new occupant must reapply for this Special Use Permit.

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Bonham City Council approved a taxi cab permit request after Robert and Emma Williams advised councilmembers that all insurance requirements have been met.

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As the regular meeting concluded, Bonham resident Rusty Deets congratulated Bonham City Council for improving the sound system so that members of the audience can better hear the discussions.