Oak Ridge North City Council approves regional appointments, reviews city fees

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The Oak Ridge North City Council approved regional board and committee nominations and considered city fees during its Aug. 12 regular meeting.

Council members first heard reports from city department heads on their monthly activities. Director of Public Works Joe Sherwin did not attend the meeting, but his report contained updates on several city infrastructure projects, including improvements to Robinson Road from Westwood Drive through the I-45 overpass. The city remains in the closing process for its right-of-way purchases at Westwood, while Montgomery County Precinct 3 is cleared to begin its share of the project, according to Sherwin’s report.

“They should be ready to start bidding that project,” Interim City Manager Heather Neeley said of Precinct 3.

Council members also discussed a future phase of construction on the city thoroughfare, the planned realignment of Robinson at Hanna Road and the addition of a left turn lane into the city Commerce Park east of that intersection. Council Member Tom Coale requested a review of the turn lane project and its estimated $900,000 cost before the city moves forward with its development, which is expected in the coming years.

“We need to take another look at what we’re getting and what we’re doing,” he said.

Council then approved a resolution naming Shenandoah Mayor Ritch Wheeler as the Small Cities representative for the Conroe-The Woodlands Urbanized Area Mobility Committee, with Shenandoah City Administrator Kathie Reyer as his alternate. The regional transportation planning group includes voting members from Conroe, The Woodlands, Montgomery County and one of the area’s smaller municipalities in addition to several non-voting public officials and community members.

Council also approved a resolution naming Council Member Clint McClaren as the city’s nominee for a vacant position on the Montgomery Central Appraisal District board of directors.

Council then approved a Waste Management residential collection fee increase of 5.9% due to Consumer Price Index and fuel annual adjustments, raising the city’s fees from $14.04 to $14.86. Council also voted against any changes to the city’s water and wastewater impact fees as recommended by the Capital Improvement Advisory Committee. Finally, council approved the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 1 annual report for the 2018 tax year.

After closing its regular meeting, council adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel matters related to Neeley following her appointment in July. No action resulted from the closed meeting.

Council will next meet for a regular session Aug. 26, when the city’s final tax rate and budget for fiscal year 2019-20 will be approved. Public hearings on the proposed tax rate and budget will be held Aug. 19 at 6 and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

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