Following a public hearing on the proposed 2013-14 FY budget for the City of Blanco, council members voted unanimously to approve a budget which was hammered out in workshops during the summer. To fund the budget, members also voted to set the tax rate at $.2583 per $100 valuation, the same as it has been for the past three years.
In the Public Comments portion of the meeting, resident Carroll Fuchs complained that the city has unfairly fined him under the nuisance ordinance for having excessive debris on his various properties. “I paid $100 on the fine and I still owe $350,” he said, adding that he lives on a fixed income and also isn’t physically able to do the work needed to remove the debris. Several residents defended Carroll, saying that Fuchs could use the money he is paying in fines to clean up his property, and that it is hard for him to clean up the accumulation of generations under the new regulations. Janet Fisher said, “I ‘ve been getting Carroll to fix things for me—I can do well with a used something—I have empathy for age [and] a little patience and consideration would help.”City Attorney Eddy Rogers said that Fuchs has several properties “in dire need” of clean-up, and that “this is not the first rodeo for Mr. Fuchs.”
Blanco South Library District President Nancy Cline thanked the city for the funds allotted to the library’s operating fund under the new budget, and urged citizens to take advantage of the library’s programs. Librarian Crystal Spybuck thanked the city for allowing the new PEC-sponsored sign on library property and said that a number of longtime patrons and Blanco residents have come in to the library to say they like the sign, which posts library hours and community events. She added that area non-profits have asked how to advertise on the sign.
Mayor Chuck Homan added in his Mayor’s Comments that the city has just paid the $20,006.00 balance due on the sign, to be reimbursed by PEC and thanked PEC again for their part in funding and installing it. “I’m glad it turned out so well after the initial controversy [about the color of the lighting on the sign]”, he said. “It’s not so bright that it jumps out and grabs you.” He also thanked the library for allowing the city to use its stone framework for the sign, saying, “It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society board of directors member Marilyn Mikes spoke to council, urging the city to continue the discounted water bill for the courthouse to help keep the lawn green, the newly-planted trees alive, and to pay for the water use in the bathrooms, which the public uses extensively, especially during the annual Lavender Festival. She said the last bill was not discounted. A discussion ensued as to whether the OBCCPS should get a straight 50 percent discount or a discount above the average monthly bill, since the bill