The Oak Ridge North City Council proposed a 3.84% reduction in the city's property tax rate for fiscal year 2020-21 at its Aug. 10 regular meeting.

The proposed rate of $0.4712 per $100 of property value represents a decrease over the city's current rate of $0.49, although properties with rising 2020 valuations may see higher tax bills under the new rate. The $0.4712 figure represents the voter-approval tax rate, or the highest rate the city could propose without triggering the possibility of a resident election on the rate.

The city's no-new-revenue, or effective, tax rate for FY 2020-21 would be $0.495 per $100 valuation, officials said. The no-new-revenue rate is one that would generate an equal amount of tax revenue to the previous year.

Council members proposed the $0.4712 rate after some discussion in a 5-0 vote. Public hearings on both the rate and FY 2020-21 city budget will be held Aug. 17, and council members will vote to finalize both items during their regular meeting Aug. 24.

Council members also approved a development agreement with Pistol Holding LLC, developers of the Copeland Gun Range project to be built at the corner of Robinson and Elder roads within Oak Ridge North's extraterritorial jurisdiction east of the city limits. Final revisions to the agreement concerning the construction of water lines to the property and city reimbursements on the project through impact fees were approved in a 4-1 vote, with Council Member Frances Planchard voting against.

“The agreement ... it’s been a hard project to sort of get everyone’s consensus on, but I think it's ready to go," City Attorney Chris Nichols said.

Another new business coming to the city, Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar, was granted permission for late-night mixed-beverage sales through a new ordinance unanimously passed by the council. Under the ordinance and pending approval from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the restaurant may sell beer and mixed drinks from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sundays and from midnight to 2 a.m. on other days, in addition to its regular business hours.

According to a report from Community Development Director John Beisert, Whiskey Cake plans to open its doors in the city Sept. 3.