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Victor Wright named City of Bonham Employee of the Month
By Allen Rich
Sep 16, 2020
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Bonham, Texas -- Another outstanding employee of the City of Bonham was in the spotlight Monday, September 14, 2020 when Victor Wright was named August Employee of the Month. That announcement came Monday evening during a regular meeting of Bonham City Council.

Victor is a Street Maintenance Technician with the Bonham Street Department and has been with the city since August 2016. Victor is the type of person who is the first one to show up and the last to leave and he gives 100% on every task. He is a loyal city worker and takes pride in what he does. Victor is known for his great attitude. When he was hired, his past job references were checked. Victor's past supervisor told Howdy Howdeshell, Superintendent of Streets, that if he gave Victor a chance, it wouldn't be long before he wished he had two of Victor. Mr. Howdeshell said the past supervisor was correct.

(L-R) Brad Nichols, City of Bonham Director of Human Relations; City of Bonham Employee of the Month Victor Wright and Bonham City Councilmember Timothy La Vergne.
 

The City of Bonham is in the second year of this program to recognize outstanding employees.

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. 

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Bonham City Council held a public hearing at 5:15 p.m. Monday, September 14, 2020 to allow public comment regarding the proposed ad valorem tax rate of $0.6550 per $100 of taxable value, the same as the current tax rate, for tax year beginning January 1, 2020.

City resident Emily Dempsey addressed councilmembers and said it doesn't help senior citizens on a fixed income to keep the same tax rate when her property evaluation has increased 31% in the last four years.

"I need you to help me," Ms. Dempsey told councilmembers. "The county freezes taxes for senior citizens and the school freezes taxes. "Why can't you freeze taxes?"

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The regular meeting followed at 5:30 p.m. with councilmembers Bill Chapman, Tony Rodriguez, Timothy La Vergne, Kevin Hayes and Wayne Moore in attendance and Bonham Mayor Pro Tem H. Compton presiding in the absence of Bonham Mayor Roy Floyd. The meeting began with an invocation given by Teagan La Vergne, the seven-year-old daughter of Bonham City Councilmember Timothy La Vergne.

Teagan La Vergne addresses the crowd before giving the invocation as proud father Timothy La Vergne adjusts the microphone.

Teagan is a second-grade student at Finley-Oats Elementary School and she attends Bethlehem Baptist Church in Bonham.

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Councilmembers approved minutes of the August 10 regular meeting and the August 27 special meeting.

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Dave Struchtemeyer, CPA, Director of Finance for the City of Bonham, presented the August 2020 financial report to Bonham City Council.

"With one month left to complete the Fiscal Year, both the General Fund and Water Sewer Fund are on target to end the year with slight residuals," Mr Struchtemeyer reported. "This is mainly due to departments being understaffed for most of the year and, despite the pandemic, sales taxes receipts outperforming the budget by over 4%."

Struchtemeyer added that this month the city made interest-only debt service payments of $64,000 from the General Fund and $147,000 from the Water Sewer Fund.

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In the segment of the regular meeting reserved to allow citizens an opportunity to speak, Emily Porter, Director of Tourism, told councilmembers that it was exciting to see more than 90 cars participate in this year's Bug Tussle Trek. Ms. Porter said 160 people were in and out of Bonham Visitors Center and area shops.

"It was a big day for a lot of people," she remarked.

A large segment of the crowd at Monday night's regular meeting came to address issues with Juba Pizza Bar on West Sam Rayburn Drive. Neighbors complained about bar patrons littering and trespassing. One neighbor said a drunk driver damaged her truck and another neighbor had a truck totaled by a drunk driver. After having to call city police to the scene time after time, residents suggested rezoning the area.

"I am in complete agreement with the neighbors," stated Bonham Police Chief Mike Bankston. "Basically, they have outgrown their location. We have increased patrols, made arrests and talked to neighbors. It is going to continue to be a problem."

Chief Bankston encouraged residents to continue calling in complaints.

"We will go down there 50 times a night if we have to," Bankston remarked. 

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Bonham City Council authorized Bonham City Manager Sean Pate to take all steps necessary to execute a contract with Ameresco to implement an Energy Savings Performance Contract for the City of Bonham. 

The $2.9 million, 20-year loan will be at 2.765% and will enable the city to begin replacing water meters and retro fitting energy utilities. City staff believes that the cost savings from accurate automated meters and energy-efficient utilities will help pay for the loan.

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Councilmembers approved a funding agreement with Government Capital for an Energy Savings Performance Contracting project. 

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Bonham City Council addressed vacancies on Bonham Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors. The terms of current board members Emily Porter, Jack Lipscomb and H. Compton expired August 31, 2020.

Letters of interest were received from Emily Porter, Jack Lipscomb, H. Compton, Dale McQueen and Anne Rodriguez.

Councilmember Bill Chapman made a motion to reappoint Lipscomb and Compton, and appoint McQueen. Councilmember Tony Rodriguez seconded the motion and Bonham City Council unanimously approved the motion. 

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Councilmembers ratified and accepted the fiscal year 2020-2021 BEDCo operating budget as approved by the Bonham Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors.

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Councilmembers endorsed a resolution supporting the passage of legislation to allow for the expenditure of Municipal Hotel Occupancy Tax Revenue by the city for construction of improvements in municipal parks.

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Bonham City Council held a public hearing and approved an ordinance amending Ordinance 1378 providing for a fee schedule for solid waste collection services inside the city and at Lake Bonham. The amended ordinance will result in a minimal increase. 

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Bonham City Council held a public hearing and approved an ordinance establishing maximum, reasonable and prudent rates of speed on certain portions and at certain times on two streets in the City of Bonham in proximity to public schools.

Traffic studies on North Main Street and Albert Broadfoot in proximity to public schools established the maximum rate of speed at 20mph while school is in session. Flashing school zone lights will alert drivers.

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Bonham City Council unanimously adopted an ad valorem tax rate of $0.6550 per $100 of taxable value for tax year beginning January 1, 2020. 

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Bonham City Council adopted the fiscal year 2020-2021 operating budget for the City of Bonham. 

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Bonham City Council held a public hearing and approved an ordinance amending ordinance 1310 establishing a charge master to be used for EMS billing and collections. 

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Bonham City Council held a public hearing and approved an ordinance regulating and restricting the height of structures and objects of natural growth and otherwise regulating the use of property in the vicinity of the Jones Field Airport.

The city ordinance will restrict the height of structures built around the airport and will mirror FAA regulations.