The 2010-11 Garland City budget is down a little less than $3,000 from the 2009-10 budget, but appears to still be healthy. Council members voted to approve the tentative budget May 18 at the Garland City Council Meeting. A public hearing will be held June 16. In the meantime, the council will make a few more adjustments before it will receive a final vote.
“Mayor [Richard] Owens pulled the belt tight last year and it sure has put us in a better position this year,” council member Jonna Comstock noted.
“ Most cities would love to be in the position we’re in this year.”
Among the capital improvements approved are adding curb and gutter in front of the city offices and other areas of town, putting a gable over the north side of the Garland Armory, as well as painting the building. The city’s dump truck bed also needs to be refurbished as it is rusting a great deal, mayor Arlon Bennett added.
The police budget was cut as a grant of about $35,000 is on its way that will make up the difference. With the grant, the department will have around the same amount to work with, Bennett said.
Regarding the high school, chief Linda Bourne and Bennett discussed the city’s desire to revisit the idea of having another student crosswalk in front of the auditorium. Previously, UDOT was not willing to look at the possibility. The mayor will soon be meeting with representative Rhonda Menlove and UDOT, he said, and he wanted to reopen the conversation regarding pedestrian safety.
Construction of the new Garland Elementary has begun despite all of the rain. As a result, the dirt roads have been a bit of an issue. Two roads will soon be paved to enable the schools construction. They are 500 South and 100 West. The road on 300 West, which was scheduled for completion this fall, will be delayed until the spring, Bennett said.
The Garland water project is wrapping up, project manager Bill Bishop reported. The water permit application could be approved by the end of next week. If the project continues as planned, it could be 10 percent under budget and the money could go to other city projects. However, Bishop said, they are aware that there may be some issues with reimbursing landowners for damages.
Garland City Library is busily buying materials with money from two grants. The library will account for $15,700, which needs to be spent by the end of the. Librarian Teresa Clark also reported that the library’s teen program is progressing.
As the housing market has slowed, the planning and zoning committee has turned its attention to updating the city’s 20-year general plan. A public meeting will be held June 9 to amend both the general plan and its accompanying annexation policy plan.
The city has hired a new lawyer, Kelly Smith, of the Olson and Hoggan Law Firm. In addition, they have requested Bruce Jorgensen’s services for dealing with land and water issues. Bennett is especially pleased with Jorgensen’s experience with land use. “It is probably going to cost us a little more money, but it will be worth it,” he said.
Fire chief Kent Menlove noted that the biggest activity for the fire department was participating in burning Del Bruderer’s home to the ground. Firefighters received hands-on-training in searching the home when it was “smoked up.”
Council member Daniel Bowcutt said he is looking for someone to head up the Wheat and Beet Days Parade. Please contact the city at 257-3118 if you are interested in helping.