Council

City of Commerce Finance Director Jamie Campbell (right) gave an update on city property and sales tax collections at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

The Commerce City Council shot down a proposal to issue a permit for a potential drive-thru margarita establishment at its November meeting on Tuesday.

The permit in question was for the 1607 Live Oak St., which is the former location of Total Care Pharmacy. The conditional use permit request for a bar, lounge or tavern submitted to the city was recommended for denial by both city staff and the Planning and Zoning Committee, with City Manager Darrek Ferrell saying that the drive-thru nature of this business was a factor. Since Planning and Zoning did not approve the request, the council would have required a supermajority, or four out of five total votes, to approve the measure.

The council voted unanimously to deny the permit request.

Also at the meeting, the council approved a purchase agreement and economic development agreement with Amanda Escobedo to purchase and develop land from the city at the corner of Aldridge Street and Roseanne Drive. The land was part of a homeowner’s program that no longer exists, but the city was required to specially solicit bids for the property.

It was announced at the meeting that Escobedo would purchase the property from the city for $8,000, thus putting it back on the tax roll. An economic development approved by the council stated that 50 percent of the purchase price would be returned to the buyer if certain conditions are met, including building an owner-occupied home meeting several standards within the next nine months.

Ferrell said that if these conditions are met, it is estimated that the city would make back the $4,000 in property taxes in roughly four years.

An ordinance was passed on first reading to amending the makeup of the city’s Animal Shelter Advisory Committee. Currently, one law enforcement officer is required to serve on the committee. The ordinance would remove the officer from the board and replace them with a community member. The ordinance also broadens the scope of who can serve on the committee, allowing for county employees to serve as well as city of Commerce employees.

Also passed on first reading was a slight alteration to the city’s Drought Contingency Plan, adding language about usage of water during drought conditions.

Both the drought plan and the ordinance will have to be approved again following a second reading, which is scheduled to take place at a special session scheduled for Nov. 21.

The council voted to cast ballots for John Sands to serve on the Hunt County Appraisal District’s Board of Directors.

Property taxes collections were announced at $134,698, which comes out to 6.17 percent of the total tax levy. Sales tax collections for the current fiscal year were announced at just over $266,800.

The Commerce City Council will meet in a special session at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 2, and the next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 17. Both meetings will be held at city hall at 1119 Alamo St.

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