Members of the Houston City Council gave input Monday night on development of a community strategic plan to guide the town’s future.
Steve Hutcheson, a former mayor and chair of the task force charged with developing the document, met with the council and council members to discuss goals they would like to pursue in the draft under development. Council Don Romines led a discussion with members during a session that saw ideas written on a white board.
Earlier, the city held a public meeting to receive input from city residents.
City Administrator Larry Sutton said following the meeting the city will continue working on the document, and final approval will come in about two months.
The city also plans to hold a public forum to receive input on the use of property it recently acquired near King Street and Hawthorn Avenue. The Forbes family sold the acreage to the city. No date has been set for the hearing.
As part of its planning process, the city is reviewing 12 residential properties deemed eyesores that it may call for improvements or demolition. Pictures will be taken of each and later reviewed by the council. Over the last several years, the city has followed a procedure of inspection, renovations or demolition on similar real estate. Upon cleanup, the city places a lien on the property.
A condemnation process is currently under way at 715 Second St.
In other matters, members:
—Heard Diana Hill report that $87,800 in property taxes were collected for the 2013 tax year. The council certified delinquent amounts and will print a list of property owners in the Houston Herald for any amounts over $20.
—Asked City Attorney Brad Eidson to draft a municipal ordinance for seat belt compliance following a presentation by Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell. It will review his findings. No city ordinance exists to mirror state law. McNiell said non-compliance is an issue, resulting in the potential for more significant injuries and deaths.
—Heard that a contract with the city’s trash hauler has been finalized. Residents who want free curbside containers will be able to obtain them as soon as April. Under the contract, the city will no longer pay for its trash removal costs and home demolition waste.
—Learned that the city’s Saturday youth basketball program has brought praise from businesses who benefit from the additional traffic in the community.
—Heard the city won’t qualify for a Community Development Block Grant for renovations at an adult learning center in Emmett Kelly Park. It had gone through a pre-application phase.
—Accepted a $71.11 per ton bid for asphalt work from Rolla Asphalt. Targeted are Airport Road and North Industrial Drive. Some smaller projects also may be undertaken. The price is up from last year because a plant was at Houston at the time, Sutton said. Work will be done in late spring and early summer.