City Council discusses new business; budget

by Charles Gerian

After a long day of budget meetings between the Blackwell City Council and the City of Blackwell’s sibling duo of financial officers from RS Meacham, the Blackwell City Council conducted its final meeting of April on Thursday.

At the day’s budget meeting for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, the Council proposed the idea of municipal sewer rate increases as well as a cost-of-living adjustment, better known as a COLA adjustment, to raise city employees’ pay.

The proposed increase in sewer rates would be to offset the cost of the city’s new water treatment plant.

Nothing was determined, and another budget meeting will take place in May to bring propositions before the Council to take action on.

Thursday’s Council meeting began at 6 p.m., with the Council hearing from Parkhill Engineering to discuss the water treatment plant.

The Council then heard the initial reading for Ordinance 2022-10, which aims to make developing subdivisions and housing blocks easier by updating old provisions that had not been reworked since the 1970s.

Next, the Council approved a request by the Woodmont Land Co. to split the Dollar Tree lot on west Doolin Avenue. This decision will create a 3,959 square-foot lot to allow for an additional retail store to be built.

Following that action, the Council also approved another land matter in the case of 700 W. Ferguson and 702 W. Ferguson. The lot space next to Crimson Owl Tattoo was approved as a “horticulture” business.

Moving onto the Blackwell Municipal Authority meeting, the Council voted to assist Blackwell Public Schools, with $90,000 going toward the purchase of four transformers for the Blackwell High School campus, which will be remodeled. The transformers are part of a plan to convert the campus from 2,400 volts to 14,400 volts.

The meeting ended shortly after 7 p.m.