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Council holds public hearing on tax rate

City-of-Mission-logoThe Mission City Council held a public hearing on the proposed 2014 tax rate and unanimously approved the rate, 1 cent lower than the current rate at a Monday meeting.

The proposed rate is $0.5188 per $100 valuation. It includes $0.1076 for debt and $0.4112 for maintenance and operation. The estimated tax levy based on the proposed tax rate will create revenues of $15, 107,149, a decrease of $349,433 from the 2013 tax levy of $15,398,343.

The council voted unanimously for the tax rate decrease.

Also Monday, the Mission Fire Department was given authority to apply for the 2015 Homeland Security Grant program through the Lower Rio Grande Development Council. The department will request $74,458 for dive suits, swift water suits, life jackets, ropes, a full body rescue harness, a complete boat package and repelling equipment. The grant does not require matching funds.

After-school programs

The council approved two agreements between the City of Mission and Jessie Jensen Elementary in Sharyland Independent School District and the City of Mission and Leal Elementary in the Mission Consolidated Independent School District to undertake youth services through the Mission Boys and Girls Club for after-school programs.

Services offered will include Power Hour, when city staff helps students with their homework by providing individual assistance. Staff will help children with questions about their studies.

Kids in Control is designed to provide insight, and generate discussion to encourage children to develop practical safety skills. Smart Moves is a nationally acclaimed prevention program for children 5 to 12 years old that helps provide the knowledge and skills they need to grow into confident, healthy teenagers who grow up to realize their potential. It provides children with accurate information, resistance training and other critical skills for avoiding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs as well as peer pressure so they can make appropriate decisions in their teenage years.

Fitness authority is a 12-week program that increases knowledge of nutrition, hand/eye coordination, endurance, motor development, total fitness, and self-esteem. This is provided through group discussion, innovative games, outdoor activities, calisthenics stretching, nutrition and physical wellness activities. The object is for children to develop a healthy and fit lifestyle.

At Jessie Jensen the program will last from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Services will be offered at Leal Elementary from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday.

Wastewater plant expansion

Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas was designated as authorized representative of the City of Mission to give notice of intent to reimburse expenditures in connection to the Texas Water Development Board Project related to expansion of the wastewater plant. Mission will be working with TWDB to obtain the funding necessary to do the expansion.

The city anticipates spending $1 million out of the general fund toward the cost of the wastewater system. The city also will issue an estimated $18 million of tax-exempt bonds to cover the cost of the project.

The bid for repairs to the police station roof was awarded to Choice Partners Cooperative in the amount of $553,000.

Under the Housing Assistance Program, bids for six reconstruction projects and one rehabilitation project were awarded to A One Insulation in the amount of $323,800. Since 1999, the City of Mission has allotted 75 percent of its Community Development Block Grant funds to housing projects. A total of 360 families have received assistance. A total of 232 families have received reconstruction assistance, and 128 families have received rehabilitation assistance.

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