KSAM News

KSAM News

CITY MANAGER ARON KULHAVY DISCUSSES MAXIMUM TAX RATE

In taking care of business at this week’s regular City Council session, a public hearing was begun regarding their consideration to adopt a maximum property tax rate of .$3666 per $100 valuation for the City’s 2018-19 Fiscal Year (Tax Year 2018).

In regard to the tax rate maximum, City Manager Aron Kulhavy commented . . . .

Mayor Brauninger asked if anyone wanted to speak for or in opposition to the Maximum Tax Rate at the Public Hearing. No one did.

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY AND SPEED ISSUES FOR PRECINCT #2 BARN AND JP #3 DISCUSSED BY COMMISSIONERS

Monday afternoon, Walker County Commissioners met for a “Special Session” at the courthouse to discuss various County matters.

One item on the agenda they had been working on involved solving the internet speed and connectivity issues being experienced by the Precinct #2 Barn and Precinct #3 J-P.

County Purchasing Agent Mike Williford addressed commissioners on the issue . . ..

The D&G Contractors deal would require a $32,500 installation fee, $75 a month maintenance fee per site and the County would own all the equipment. D&G would provide 24 hour technical support.

Commissioners voted on what they perceived as the best proposal between AT&T, Suddenlink and D&G. They approved D&G Contractors.

MAYOR ANDY BRAUNINGER ON CITY CHARTER

During our recent “Around Town” interview with Mayor Andy Brauninger, he informed us that, “Every five years, the City of Huntsville is mandated to review the Charter.” He said, they “put together a Charter Review committee of current council people, as well as citizens of the city of Huntsville, to look at the Charter, go through it item by item, and come up with recommended changes to the City Charter . . . .”

REGENTS APPROVE ACADEMIC CHANGES

Sam Houston State University’s operating budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and degree programs and course additions were among the items approved by the Texas State University System Board of Regents at their regular quarterly meeting in Lost Pines, Texas on August 16.

Within academic affairs, degree program additions approved include, Master of Arts in Technical Communication in the Department of English, Master of Fine Arts in Art and Social Practice in the Department of Art, Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security Studies and Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security Studies in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Further academic changes include the addition of two introductory physics courses to the general education core curriculum and authorization to eliminate the Master of Arts in Teaching degree plan housed in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

In program additions, a graduate certificate program in Communication Studies housed in the Department of Communication Studies and an undergraduate certificate in Technical Communication in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences was approved.

In curriculum, 55 additional courses for the 2018-2019 academic year were approved, 23 course deletions and 39 course changes were approved for the 2019-2020 academic year. Additionally, an increase in semester credit hours from 117 to 120 for the Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education in the College of Education was approved.

In planning and construction, design development documents were approved for the proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine (applicant status – seeking accreditation).

Regents also approved to change the name of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication to the College of Arts and Media.

COUNCIL LOOKS AT SOUTHWOOD DRIVE AT HIGHWAY 75 ZONE CHANGE

It looked like Big Brother versus neighborhood residents again at the City Council last night.

Local businessman Siraj “Jack” Ali had purchased a property on Southwood Drive at State Highway 75 North and is apparently in the process of trying to purchase nearby property. The property is zoned Neighborhood Conservation and the request to the council is to change it to Management.

Many neighborhood homeowners showed up at the council meeting last night to protest. Local resident William Piper, for example, explained one of the results of commercializing the property . . . .

It was also passed along to councilmembers that putting a business at that corner would create a situation to cause more accidents in an area that was already known as a corner where accidents often occurred. Councilmember Ron Allen confirmed from previous experience as a tow truck driver that it was a high accident area as well as County EMS head John Nabors.

Ward #1 Councilmember Joe Emmet had the point of view that no one would put a residence on that lot so the City would “end up with another vacant lot sitting in the middle of Huntsville collecting minimum tax because of zoning.” There were some other views expressed looking to what they thought was an inevitability of change coming to the area anyway.

The council will continue to look at the issue at their next council session.

BOARD OF MANAGERS OF WALKER COUNTY HOSPITAL DISTRICT MEETS

The Board of Managers of the Walker County Hospital District will hold a regular meeting open to the public this evening at six at Huntsville Memorial Hospital in 2nd floor Meeting Room A.

At the beginning of the meeting, there will be comments from the public allowed. There will also be comments and reports from managers and HMH Administration.

They will next adjourn in a closed executive session to discuss with their attorneys:

–pending litigation matters.

–matters related to the potential sale or lease of District real estate, including the Ella Smither property and the hospital facility

–and, legal issues related to communications, administrative matters and District policies.

The managers will reconvene in an open session and consider action on several items. They will receive 2019 budget requests; have a 2019 budget workshop; conduct a public budget hearing for the 2019 budget; consider approving payment of indigent care bills; review the monthly financial report; consider approving payment of monthly bills; approve the recording of the August 2018 budgeted indigent care expense in the amount of $568,334 and consider giving approval to the Walker County Appraisal District to accept the bids received on properties in trust owned by the taxing jurisdictions.

WILLIS WILDKAT ATHLETIC LUNCHEON AHEAD

The 2018 Willis WildKat Athletic Luncheon starts next Thursday August 30th at Noon at the Willis Community Center at 600 Gerald Street.  The Luncheon is sponsored by the Masonic Lodge of Willis.  The cost is $10 for adults and $4 for students.  All proceeds go to scholarships for Willis High School extracurricular students.

Your welcome to meet new Willis High School Football Coach Michael Wall, 2018 Captains and Offense skill players.  Also, come meet the 2018 Varsity Tennis Team, Willis High School Athletic Trainers and Varsity Country Team.

For more information, contact Athletic Director Eric Ezar at 214-729-0841.