At Tuesday’s Horseshoe Bay City Council meeting, Elise Reid presented a petition with over 300 signatures of HSB residents asking the council to “stop the cruelty” of its current practice of trapping, transporting and killing deer and find a more humane, effective form of wildlife management. “We are better than this as a community,” Reid told the council.
Reid asked the council not to transfer the $21,200 balance in the Deer Management Fund to pay for a consultant for the Long Range Planning Committee as the Deer Management Committee is currently working on alternatives to thin the deer population using more humane methods and will need funds to implement any changes. Reid said that adopting a less upsetting method to thin the deer population is not only the right thing for HSB to do, but such action will also benefit home owners who live near netting areas by improving their property values and re-sale potential.
Rick Prekup, a member of the Deer Management Committee, also asked the council to hold off on re-allocating the funds in the committee’s budget so money will be available once the committee makes its recommendations in the coming months especially since “some of the committee’s recommendations may require a long lead time and equipment expense.”
HSB City Manager Stan Farmer explained that the council voted last month to fund the Long Rang Planning Committee’s consultant, and the agenda item at this meeting was to follow up on that action by re-allocating funds in this fiscal year’s budget. Mayor Steve Jordan said deer trapping is over for this fiscal year, which ends September 30, and that the council will “have an open mind” regarding funding and deer management options during the budget process that begins in June and is finalized in August. Council Member David Pope said it would be best for council to wait for the committee’s recommendations and then appropriate needed funds for fiscal year 2017. Council Member Jerry Gray said if the Deer Management Committee needs funds for long lead options before the new fiscal year begins October 1, council could find the money elsewhere in this year’s budget for the committee’s needs. The council voted to re-allocate $29,200 ($21,000 from the Deer Management budget and $8,200 from the Tree Removal budget) to pay for the Long Range Planning Advisory Committee consultant.
Farmer said the city has received over 550 responses to the Long Range Planning Committee’s survey and encourages all property owners and residents to participate in the survey either online or the old fashioned way, on paper. Hard copies of the survey are available at City Hall, Quail Point, Bayside Fresh Market, Bay Pharmacy and all local banks.
Council approved revisions to the city’s Sign Ordinance that prohibits illuminated or internally lit signs and eliminates most exemptions allowed in the prior ordinance. Signs may only be lit by “ambient light” and “external illumination by ground spotlighting” that does not glare into surrounding area or distract drivers. Mayor Jordan thanked Gray for his extensive work with staff to revise and improve the Sign Ordinance.
The council voted to restrict use of personal on-demand storage structures (PODs) to 72 hours, and not more than twice in a 90 day period. The city has received complaints about several instances where PODs have remained on properties for extended periods of time, including one which has been on a property for about six months. But the city did not had any regulations specifically tailored to control use of PODs. The new regulation would prohibit use of shipping containers as PODs. If a resident needs to have a POD for longer than 72 hours, the ordinance grants the City Manager discretion to allow reasonable time extensions.
Council approved a $56,320 contract with Cactus Companies LLC to make much needed repairs to the exterior of Fire Station #1 next to City Hall including removing the old tile roof and replacing it with a standing seam metal roof to match City Hall, replacing all exterior siding with concrete siding, and painting the exterior of building. Cactus Company, who was the low bidder, has completed other projects in HSB to including the renovation of the Lighthouse, replacement of the Quail Point roof and installation of fencing around Martin Park.
Council Member Gray took the opportunity to compliment Fire Chief Joe Morris and his staff for the improvements they have made to the West Fire Station using their own labor, talent and ingenuity to install new lockers and upgrade the office interior.
Due to “human error” in some of the letters sent to properties in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction regarding annexation and some of the published notices regarding annexation, the city will repeat the required annexation notices and publications relating to six properties in the coming months. Five of the properties to be re-noticed are in Quail Ridge and one is east of The Overlook on Hwy 71. Farmer made it clear that the city is not initiating any new annexation efforts, but merely cleaning up technical errors made regarding these six properties during the past months’ annexation process.

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