The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on August 26, 1987 · Page 1
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August 26, 1987

The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 1

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Baytown, Texas
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Wednesday, August 26, 1987
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.",&' -it-' : YOUR HOMHOWN NfWSPAPtH MORE THAN 70,000 READERS EVERY DAY Volume 65. No. 255 Telephone Number: 422-8302 Wednesday, August 26, 1987 Baytown, Texas 77520 25 Cents Pel-Copy Public hearing on city budget Thursday ••:•;••:; , : •: ' V-7 *f , '. < ; C* . , . ' •• . ^ By BRUCE GUYNN Citizens will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed 198788 city budget, providing for a 4-cent increase in the tax rate, at a public hearing on Thursday. Baytown City Council will hold the public hearing at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. The public hearing is set to begin a half hour after the start of the regular council meeting at 6:30 p.m. See related story, Pag* 2-A At a council work session Tuesday, City Manager Fritz Lanham said a tabulating error resulted in the release of an incorrect figure for estimated expenditures in the proposed budget. Corrected figures show the proposed budget provides lor $32,654,131 in expenditures. This represents a 0.573 percent increase over expenditures in the current budget of 532,468,026. The proposed budget provides for about the same level of services. Lanham said the proposed budgets of 20 of the 35 city divisions or departments have been decreased while 15 have been increased; Among those that have been decreased are the police and fire departments. A 4-cent increase in the tax rate is being proposed to offset projected losses in revenue, stemming partially from a decline in property values. Council is expected to approve the budget at its Sept. 24 meeting. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. • In other business, Judy Hardy is scheduled to request the resumption of city elections. The city is barred by a federal court order from holding any council elections under its current at-large voting system, i Baytown officials are currently appealing a ruling that would force the city to adopt an election system based partially on single member districts.. ...':;. : , .' ;:: :._. ,,; . •.';;;'•' : : • : A citizens group Called TAP — Taxpayers Advocating Progress — is circulating a petition for a city ordinance, dropping the appeal. The ordinance would also provide that City Council take steps to hold an election. In other business, City Council is also expected to: -fChange the wording of a city ordinance, providing that one of the members of the mechanical board should be a mechanical engineer rather than a "registered" mechanical engineer. . i -fDesignate the community development planner to recommend loan approval to the federal department of Housing and Urban Development for 312 loans. + Consider a recommendation from the Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee to appoint one of its members to the Baytown Area-West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation. +Discuss an appointment to the Traffic Commission, +Re-advertise forbids for a housing rehabilitation project. -f-Hear the city manager's report. The regular meeting will be preceded by a 6:15 p.m. work session to discuss appointments. i FROM LIBRARY TO CLASSROOMS WORKERS IN the west wing of the Robert E. Lee High School main building use metal studs to frame'the area'where lockers will be mounted later. This corridor passes through what was formerly the school library and now is being converted to classrooms. The east and west wings, saved by firefighters when fire gutted the majority of the main building on April 29, will be ready by December, when students are expected to return to the campus. Main building reconstruction Is slated for completion by next fall. (Sun staff photo by Angle Bracey) Baytown homeowners may pay less in taxes during 1987- Property values down in general revaluation ByBRUCEGUYNN , Although the municipal tax rate is expected to increase, many homeowners may pay less in city taxes in 1987-88. "Even with a 4-cent increase. .•'a.Jot of people are going to pay less in taxes next year." City Manager Fritz Lanham told Council Tuesday morning. Lanham explained that because of a general revaluation by the Harris County Appraisal District, many homeowners can expect their property values to decrease, offsetting an increase in the tax rate. ', City Councilman Jimmy Jobnson noted that even with a 4- cerit increase in the tax rate, he will pay $30 less in city taxes because of a change in his appraised property value. Lanham distributed an information sheet, showing the impact of a 4-cent rate increase on the tax bills of owners of S100.000. S75.000 and S50.000 homes, providing there is no change in their valuations. Under the current rate of 60.5 cents per S100 valuation, the owner of a S50.000 home with no exemptions pays $302.50 in city property taxes. If the rate is increased to 64.5 cents, this same property owner can expect to pay S322.50 per year or $20 more in property taxes. The owner of a $50,000 house with a 20-percent homestead exemption can expect his tax bill to increase S16 f rom S242 to $258. If the owner of a $50,000 house has a senior citizens exemption, he pays no city taxes on his home and won't be affected by any rate increase. The senior citizens exemption is $50.000. The owner of a $75.000 home with no exemptions can expect his tax bill to increase $36 to 5483.75 while one ! with, the homestead exemption can expect his bill to increase $24 to $387 while one with a senior citizens exemption can expect his taxes to increase $4 to $64.50. Finally, the owner of a S100.000 home with no exemptions can expect his bill to increase $40 to S645. If he has the homestead exemption, his bill will increase S32 to $516 while if he has the senior citizens exemption, it will in- crease $12 to S193.50. Baytown officials have said i the tax rate increase can be -~ reduced to 3.25 l cents 1 if the city ". places a 1-percent sales tax on utility bills. ; In a prepared statement issued Tuesday. Councilman Perry Simmons said such an action would impose ' : an extreme hardship on the poor, the elderly and those with fixed incomes." "The city of Houston has passed such a tax and is now considering rescinding it," Simmons noted. Simmons said while he doesn't relish a property tax increase, it is a more equitable alternative. If the tax rate is increased, Simmons said the S8.75 charge -j for extended area service on f monthly telephone bills should be eliminated. Simmons noted that a General \, Telephone Co. survey three years ago showed that two- thirds of telephone customers ; here never make calls to points j outside of Baytown. j The elimination of the $8.75 ; monthly charge would save ; telephone customers $105 per vear. Regents to consider adopting budget By DAVID MOHLMAN Lee College Board of Regents on Thursday is expected to adopt ;i 1K87-8H "budget and to sot meeting dates on which board members will evaluate LC President Vivian Blevins See related story. Page 2-A The regular session, scheduled at H::H) p.m. at Moody Center in Hundcll. Hall, will be preceded by a 7 p.m. executive session. LC administrators propose a 515,798.787 budget for 1987-88, Pearcc Street Journal Baytown brirC Bumper stickers, which abound in Baytown, sometimes teil you something about a motorist's personality. For example, a small car in front of us carried two: "Welcome to Texas, now go home" and "A woman's place is in the mall." -PLPforFH : Arounc|'Town JOHN POLK of Cove is at home, recovering from open heart surgery ... David Houchins looks forward to a busy week at Baylor ... Rhonda Brister is a real Georgia peach. Patrick Mahan gets on his soapbox once again . .. Alden Weaver tells about the bicycle tour he and his wife recently made in Vermont ... John Adams is spending lots of time among the Jet set. The proposal includes SI.166,000 more in spending than the, 198687 budget, which totaled SH.G32.72-i. Despite increased spending and the loss of $:U7,093 in state funds to pay for employee insurance, the proposed budget anticipates no increase of the current property tax rate of 13.75 cents per $100 property valuation. No one spoke Aug., 18 at a public hearing on the proposed budget. The setting of dates to evaluate Blevins comes as she finishes her first 12 months as LC president, Blevins officially took office on Sept. 2. 1986, although she met several times with interim president Robert Larsson during the last week of August 1986. Also slated is approval of the faculty and administrative positions and the contract changes on the executive session agenda. Positions to be affected include a music faculty post, the head librarian post, coordinators for new child care development and legal assistant programs, a Texas Department of Corrections coordinator position, a TDC counselor position and the computer center manager. Under unfinished business, the board plans to award a contract for LC career pilot instruction. After regents discussed proposals from Bay Area Aviation and Channel Aviation on Aug. 18, they tabled the matter for further investigation. The board also is expected to award contracts for athletic supplies, athletic insurance, air conditioning chiller maintenance and custodial supplies. Sun dial Classified T-ll-B Comics/Crossword 6-.A Dimension 7-A Editorial. -t-A Markets , 5-A A/ovi'e Theaters 6-ii Obituaries S-A Police Deal 2-A Sports 1-3-B Television Log 6-B Word of Mouth -»-B WKATHKfi MOSTLY 'FAIR skies with ;i low temperature in the mid- TVs. .'ire forecast for \\ednes- dny night. Partly cloudy skies with a 20 percent chance of ruin and a high temperature in the mid-yos arc expected Thursday. From ft 'a.m..'.Tuesday to « a.m. Wednesday, a low of ~ degrees and a high of !M were recorded. Contract to be awarded By DAVID MOHLMAN LIBERTY — State highway department officials plan to award a contract on Sept. 9 or Sept. 10 for widening State Highway 146 north of Interstate 10 to the Liberty County line. The highway department currently is advertising for bids for the 4.5-mile project, said a department spokeswoman at District 20 resident engineer Ed Seymour's office. Once work begins, the project is expected to last two years. The contract will be for widening the highway from two to four lanes. A continuous left-turn lane in the center of the highway will be included. The spokeswoman said Monday the project is expected to cost $7.7 million. As a similar project to widen SH 146 from Cedar Bayou to Interstate 10 was being finished early in 19*5, highway department officials announced plans to continue the SH 146 widening north of Interstate 10 beginning that fall. However, Seymour last February said the highway department didn't have the manpower to do the work. He said Farm Road 3360 (Eagle Drive extension) construction and Farm Road 1405 reconstruction near the USX Texas Works would have to be finished before widening of Highway 146 could continue. Seymour and Franklin Young, the highway department's District 20 engineer, will I join Chambers County and Mont Belvieu officials for a ribbon- cutting to mark completion of the Eagle Drive extension. The ceremony, hosted by the West Chambers County Chamber of Commerce, is set for 2 p.m. Friday just east of Mont Belvieu at the intersection of Farm Roads 965 and 3360. Councilmen express doubts about fire, police cuts Several Baytown city councilmen Wednesday expressed misgivings about planned cuts to the police and fire department* in the proposed 1987-38 budget. , During an early, morning work session on the budget, Councilman Fred Philips asked, "What is better to do: Put another penny oh the tax rate or cut back police and fire?" Councilmen Ron Embry and Jimmy Johnson said citizen* have told them they would rather see cuts somewhere else than the police department. Councilman Holland Pruett told representatives of the firefighters union their pleas aren't falling on "completely deaf ears," just "broke pockets." A final decision on whether to approve proposed cut* to the police and fire departments won't be made until after Thursday night's public hearing on the proposed budget. Two work sessions have been held this week. A third session, scheduled for 6 a.m. Thursday, was canceled after City Manager Fritz Lanham completed his review of the proposed budget at Wednesday's session. The proposed $32,654,131 budget provides for a 4-cent increase in the tax rate and funding cuts to the police and fir* departments of <2M,076 and 1135,573 respectively. , If these cuts are approved, the police department will low three patrol officers and a jailer's position while the fire department will lose three employees. Representatives of both departments indicated Wednesday these personnel reductions would cut down on the ef fectivenw of police and firefighters. , Johnson castigated the firefighters union, the Baytown Pro- feattonal Firefighters Association, for not supporting any of the prevent council members whose positions were contested tn tte last election. ' , "If you expect us to help you... you need to get on the tide of the people in off ice," Johnson said. Johnson passed out a photograph, showing the campaign posters of three of the candidates tn the 1986 city election on • wall above the firefighters unkm logo. The potters included several for Carroll BurreH, JoteMfs opponent to the lift election. Ed Russill, president of the firefighters union, said Mi orfMdMtton iMts'the rfcjtt to support the CMrtUMwt «f Mi chotc* to reontefral eUctHm and will continue to do •» T.rust Co. •m ftCNUI CNKVRUCT CMSIT, TX. 81291 •Hurl II. €••*•< 41MM1 MUOWH1JJOJ BAYSHORE MOTORS tarn * *f* U-SAYf AvtftBHled PWWw WPWW^i ' 422-OS35

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