The Sulphur Springs City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance that will add a monthly street maintenance fee to Sulphur Springs water bills at last night’s council meeting. The ordinance will create four different tiers for the fees. The charge for single family and multi-family residences will be $5 per month, commercial businesses $12.50 per month, and industrial businesses $30 per month. This will add an estimated $496,380 to the city’s budget for street repairs and allow the city to repair an additional 2 miles of roads per year. The fees for multi-family were changed from the first reading of the ordinance to be equal to single family residences.
The money from the fee will be placed into an account specifically for street maintenance and the ordinance specifies that the money can only be used for street maintenance. Council members agreed during discussion that a website should be created where citizens can view the amount of revenue generated and the progress made in the street repair.
Before the ordinance passed, an amendment for higher fees was defeated by a vote of 2-4 with Norman Sanders and Doug Moore being the only yay votes. That set of fees would have charged single family and multi-family residences $10 per month, commercial businesses $32.50 per month, and industrial businesses $62.50 per month. This plan would have generated an addition one million dollars per year for street maintenance. Moore and Sanders both wanted to pass higher fees to help make more repairs to the roads. They expressed their desire to make a larger effort to tackle the issue.
The ordinance passed after a long debate among council members with a 5 to 2 vote. The nay votes belonged to Councilmen Jimmy Lucas and Doug Moore. Lucas wished to maintain the original fee scale.