Hemphill City Council will decide tomorrow night during their regular meeting whether or not to extend some of the measures put in place to accommodate citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. KTRE interviewed Hemphill City Manager Laure Morgan who stated when Hemphill City Council meets Tuesday night, they will again be deciding on whether to continue suspending the utility bill policy for late charges, credit card fees, and payment extensions.

"During the meeting Tuesday night, Morgan will provide the city council members with spreadsheets that break down how much revenue the city has lost because of the decision to waive certain utility fees." the article by Gary Bass says. In the previous report by KTRE, Morgan explained, "it is because the town doesn’t have an ad valorem tax, it owns all of the utilities. Hemphill residents pay the city for their electricity, water, natural gas, trash, and sewer services." The money collected from utilities replaces property tax income, and funds the city. 

Morgan told KTRE that council met several times in March, including their regular meeting and the measure was put in place in April.

"Before the city council voted to forego the policies, utility customers were only allowed one payment extension per quarter, Morgan said. The late fee was $30, and there was also a fee for using a credit card to make a payment."

Morgan stated it was only fair to waive the credit card payment fee because the city closed its office to the public and urged people to pay their utility bills over the phone or online.

In order to comply with Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order due to COVID-19, which states that every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in which proper social distancing cannot be maintained and since the number of  person’s allowed in the city council chambers will be limited to 13 persons, including City Council Members and City   Staff, due to the fact that proper social distancing cannot be maintained for more than 13 people. ONLY 3 MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WILL BE ADMITTED IN PERSON. To listen by telephone only dial: 1-346-248-7799 and enter the meeting ID of 873 4032 6660. 

https://www.ktre.com/2020/06/15/hemphill-city-council-vote-continuing-policy-regarding-utility-payments-through-june/

Council will also discuss and Approve Final City of Hemphill Budget for Fiscal Year 07/01/2020 thru 06/30/2021. Several workshops have been held concerning the adoption of the budget, spending, and cutting cost. Other items include a property easement transfer, banning fireworks, and reports from departments.

The complete agenda is as follows:

NOTICE OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY OF HEMPHILL, TEXAS 

Notice is hereby given that a Regular Meeting of the governing body of the above-named City will be held on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 5:30 P.M. in the City Council Chambers

 City Hall is located at 211 Starr St., Hemphill, Texas, at which time the following subjects will be discussed, to-wit: 1) Call to Order. 

2) Prayer. 

3) Pledge to the American and Texas Flags. 

4) Reading of Statement regarding City of Hemphill City Council Meeting Speaker Policy—read by Kelli Beall, City Secretary/Accountant 

5) Citizen Comments—All Citizens Desiring to Comment during this Period are limited to 4 minutes per person. 

6) Consent Agenda—All matters listed under Item 6, consent agenda, are considered to be routine by the city council, and will be enacted by one motion. There will not be separate discussion of these items. If discussion is desired, that item will be removed from the consent agenda and considered separately.

A. Approve Minutes of the May 19, 2020 Regular Meeting.

B. Approve Accounts Payable Check Register May 2020.

C. Approve Gas Power Cost Adjustment of ($0.121) per ccf for June 2020. (Note: Gas PCA is negative.)

D. Approve Electric Power Cost Adjustment of $0.01390 per KWH for June 2020. Noted: The Electric Power Cost Adjustment approved for May was $0.01584

7) Discuss Request from Robert Buttross with St. Pius Catholic Church regarding the City deeding a right-of- way/city-owned property between Barber Street and the Church property to St. Pius Catholic Church, as a public purpose. (Note: A similar request was granted to Gary Kirk for his property on Barber Street.) 

8) Discuss Complaint(s) received regarding fireworks being set off in the City limits, and discuss the possibility of drafting and adopting a fireworks ordinance and the level of restrictions or regulation of fireworks that might be needed. 

9) Discuss whether to continue suspending the City’s utility bill payment policy for payment extensions, credit card payment fees and late fees for the month of June 2020 or beyond, due to COVID-19. 

10) Discuss and Approve Resolution #2020-002 in Support of Application for CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund Grant Payments. 

11) Discuss and Approve Amended 07/01/2020 thru 06/30/2021 Payroll Budget due to changes in dependent health insurance for certain employees, due to no increase in dental insurance rates effective 10/01/2020, and due a change in Texas Municipal Retirement System 2021 contribution rates. 

12) Discuss and Approve Final City of Hemphill Budget for Fiscal Year 07/01/2020 thru 06/30/2021. 

13) Discuss and Approve Ordinance #2020-001 a Budget Ordinance Making Appropriations for the Support of the City of Hemphill for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021. 

14) City Business: A. Police Report by David West, Chief of Police.

B. City Manager’s Report 1) 

Discuss City Projects. 2) Discuss Completion of Certified Public Manager Program at SFASU by Laure Morgan, City Manager.

15) Suggestions for Agenda Items for July 2020 Regular Meeting.

16) Adjourn. By Kelli Beall, City Secretary/Accountant   PURSUANT TO SECTION 551.127 OF THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE, AND IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE  GUIDANCE AND PROVISIONS PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNOR OF TEXAS IN THE DECLARATION OF  DISASTER ENACTED MARCH 13, 2020, WHICH HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 11, 2020, MEMBERS OF  THE CITY COUNCIL MAY BE PARTICIPATING REMOTELY IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE TEXAS OPEN  MEETINGS ACT, AS TEMPORARILY MODIFIED BY THE GOVERNOR, AND COUNCIL RULES OF  PROCEDURE. MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC OR MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL MAY PARTICIPATE BY  VIDEO CONFERENCE OR TELECONFERENCE ONLY BY JOINING THE ZOOM MEETING AT THE   FOLLOWING LINK OR BY GOING TO zoom.us and clicking “Join a Meeting” and enter the meeting ID of 873 4032  or by clicking on the following link: 6660 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87340326660      

To listen by telephone only dial: 1-346-248-7799 and enter the meeting ID of 873 4032 6660.  In order to comply with Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order due to COVID-19, which states that every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in which proper social distancing cannot be maintained and since the number of  person’s allowed in the city council chambers will be limited to 13 persons, including City Council Members and City   Staff, due to the fact that proper social distancing cannot be maintained for more than 13 people. ONLY 3 MEMBERS OF   THE PUBLIC WILL BE ADMITTED IN PERSON. A Police Officer will be at the door to regulate entrance to the   meeting. Members of the public may attend through the Zoom Meeting methods listed above. Members of the public who  plan to participate via video conference and who would like to make public comments must do so in writing and MUST  provide the City Secretary with a completed speaker card and their written comments by 4:00 pm on Tuesday, June 16,  2020 per the City’s Speaker Policy. You may e-mail the completed speaker card to cityhall@cityofhemphill.com OR you   may drop off your speaker card with your comments at City Hall by 4:00 pm on June 16, 2020. You may attach your written comments to the completed Speaker Card, if needed. Speaker cards can be obtained at City Hall or on the city’s  website at www.cityofhemphill.com .  

A recording of the audio and video of the meeting will be made, and will be available to the public in accordance with the  Open Meetings Act upon written request. I, the undersigned authority, do hereby certify that the above Notice of the Meeting of the Governing Body of the above named City, Hemphill, Texas, is a true and correct copy of said Notice and that I posted a true and correct copy of said Notice on the inside and outside bulletin boards in the City Hall of said City, Hemphill, Texas, both places convenient and readily accessible to the general public at all times, and on the city website, and said Notice was posted on Friday, June 12, 2020 at 4:30 P.M. and remained so posted continuously for at least 72 hours preceding the scheduled time of said Meeting. Dated this the 12th day of June, 2020. City of Hemphill By Kelli Beall, City Secretary/Accountant This facility is wheelchair accessible and accessible parking spaces are available. Request for accommodations or interpretive services must be made 48 hours prior to this meeting. Please contact the City Secretary’s office at (409) 787-2251 or FAX (409) 787-2259 or E-Mail: cityhall@cityofhemphill.com for further information. The City Council of the City of Hemphill reserves the right to adjourn into executive session at any time during the course of the meeting to discuss any of the matters listed above, as authorized by the Texas Government Code, §551.071 (Consultation with Attorney), §551.072 (Deliberations about Real Property), §551.073 (Deliberations about Gifts and Donations), §551.074 (Personnel Matters), §551.076 (Deliberations about Security    Devices), §551.077 (Agency Financed by Federal Government),§551.084 (Exclusion of Witness from Hearing), §551.086 (Meeting Concerning Municipally Owned Utility), §551.087 (Deliberations Regarding Economic Development),§551.088 (Deliberations Regarding Licensing Testing Exam), & §418.183(f) (Texas Disaster Act: regarding Critical Infrastructure). This public notice was removed from the official posting board at the City of Hemphill, City Hall on the following date and time: By: City Secretary’s Office   

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