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Council considers tax hike, employee raises

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

The Lockhart City Council set a public hearing later this month to discuss a proposal to raise taxes 2 cents per $100 of valuation for the coming budget year.
During the regular meeting of the Lockhart City Council on Tuesday evening, council members considered several factors during a budget workshop. Factors up for con

sideration include a 2 percent cost of living adjustment for all city employees and increased energy costs as the price of oil continues to climb.
The council will continue to consider the budget in preparation for a second public hearing to be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19. After the second hearing, the council will vote on the budget during a special meeting on Sept. 26.
In other business, the council heard a proposal from Lockhart Little League that would give the organization greater control of the baseball and softball fields at the Lockhart Sports Complex.
“We raise the money and do improvements [to the Sports Complex], and we are happy to do it,” said Little League representative Dee Halliburton. “We don’t try to tell anyone that they can’t use the fields, but we have had problems with people coming out there, tearing things up, leaving trash, and then we have to go back and clean it up.”
Under the proposed agreement, Lockhart Little League will have exclusive control over maintenance and operations of the Sports Complex for a period of five years. During that time, Lockhart Little League will submit any plans for improvement to the City for approval, but will be solely responsible for deciding when other organizations can use the fields, and what organizations may do so.
“You all do great things out there,” said Mayor James “Jimmy” Bertram. “But the one thing I would like to see [in the agreement] is a provision where there can be an appeals process if someone isn’t allowed to use the field.
The council also heard a request from Lockhart Police Department Chief Mike Lummus regarding participation in the Chisholm Trail Special Crimes Unit.
According to Lummus, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department, Lockhart Police Department and Luling Police Department are eligible for grant funds that will allow the formation of a “special crimes unit,” specifically targeting organized crime, repeat offenders and violent offenders. At present, the city would not be required to pay matching funds for the grant.
In brief news:
The Lockhart Police Department will soon purchase new voice recording equipment to record 9-1-1 calls and radio traffic. The equipment the department has now is outdated and no longer supported by the company that issued the equipment.
The Council approved an order setting a joint election with Caldwell County on Nov. 7, 2006. The City of Lockhart will have two issues on the ballot – whether to recall Bertram, and whether or not to adopt civil service law for firefighters and police officers working for the City of Lockhart.
Economic Development Director Sandra Mauldin presented a resolution approving “project” status for Northern Video Systems, a California company seeking grant funds to build a warehouse in Lockhart.
The Lockhart City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Glosserman Conference Room of Lockhart City Hall. City Council meetings are also televised on Time Warner Cable Channel 10.

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