Crockett City Council Budget okayed, zoning denied
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
After no citizens appeared before the Crockett City Council Monday, Aug. 16 to speak about the proposed 2010-2011 budget or the proposed tax rate of .49940, the council unanimously approved the budget. There will be another public hearing on Aug. 23 regarding the tax rate increase. Several citizens did speak, however, during the third public hearing on the council’s agenda. It was a public hearing to consider a zoning change request from Cedric and Karon Nix for a zone change from R2 to R3 and a specific use permit for a convalescent, rest, nursing or extended care facility to be located at 1310 E. Houston Ave. The Nixes told council members they purchased the property with the intent to have an assisted living facility there. They also said their realtor told them it had been a business in the past, and that the state has approved them to have seven residents. Residents of the Willowbend subdivision spoke out against the change, indicating concerns about inadequate parking and increased traffic. The Nixes pointed out they have a driveway on the East Houston side of the house that should alleviate the neighbor-hood’s traffic concerns. They also said the staff would live on site and there would not be a lot of employees coming and going. After hearing from all those who wished to speak, council members voted unanimously in favor of the neighborhood wishes and rejected the Nixes’ request. In other action, there was discussion and a vote to adopt an ordinance that will be consistent with the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission’s laws regarding the hours that alcoholic beverages can be served in an establishment. Crockett Chief of Police Jimmy Fisher consistently reminded the council that the city laws can not be less lenient than state laws. When it came time to vote, the council voted to have an ordinance that states no alcohol can be served or present on the tables after 12:15 a.m. Monday – Saturday, and after 1:15 a.m. on Sunday. This is consistent with state law. Owners of two establishments argued that they need to be open beyond those hours. Fisher said he does not have the manpower to go into the establishments to make sure they have closed their bars and cleared the tables of alcoholic beverages. Fisher also said he will do whatever the city council instructs. The council will address the issue of closing times again next Monday. Also during the meeting, City Administrator Ron Duncan reported the Houston County Water District is proposing a 3.5 percent rate increase.