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Council approves spending

Council approves spending

November 14th, 2018 by Karl Richter in Texarkana News

The Texarkana, Texas, City Council on Tuesday approved a pair of expenditures totaling $330,000.

The council voted unanimously in favor of spending $20,000 to help pay for the banquet for participants in this year's Live United Bowl and up to $310,000 on South Cowhorn Loop infrastructure improvements.

This is the third consecutive year the council has used money from its community relations fund to subsidize the banquet. The Live United Bowl is an NCAA Division II football bowl game held annually in Texarkana, Ark., this year taking place Dec. 1. Proceeds from the game benefit United Way.

The other expenditure approved was more than double original cost estimates for sidewalk and drainage improvements near two new restaurants being built on South Cowhorn Loop.

In April, the council approved spending up to $126,375 on the project based on the contractor's initial cost estimates.

The project is funded through one of the city's tax increment reinvestment zones, TIRZ No. 1. A TIRZ dedicates property taxes assessed in a certain area to spending on infrastructure there.

There is enough money in the TIRZ No. 1 fund balance to cover the increased cost for the project, and the city's TIRZ advisory board approved paying it.

A representative of contractor MTG Engineers told the council that bids for the project came in higher than expected and the company has been working with city staff to avoid estimates so inaccurate in the future.

The council also conducted a public hearing and then voted unanimously to rezone property on East Wallace Drive, about a mile east of Leopard Drive, to allow an automobile-related business there.

The council's next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 26.

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