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Houston accepts $15,000 donation from Friends of the Nature Center

By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, Dec 13th, 2013
Posted in All Government

The Houston City Council held their monthly meeting on Monday, December 9. At the meeting the council adopted the final 2013 levy, collectable in 2014. The total levy amounts to $437,126. It was signed by Mayor Connie Edwards and City Administrator Larry Jerviss.

Jed Hammell, the city attorney, also addressed issues within the town. One situation was in regard to the West Spruce Street easement. Terry and Annette Jergenson requested reimbursement for taxes that they mistakenly paid to the county as a result of the county considering a portion of Spruce Street as part of the Jergenson property.

The city is under no obligation to reimburse the Jergenson for several reasons. Houston does not receive all of the taxes that would have been paid from 1995 to present. Also, it was not the city’s fault that the county improperly included part of Spruce Street with the Jergenson property.

The council was not inclined to accommodate the Jergenson’s request. Mayor Edwards commented that property owners are responsible to know the land they have bought and the taxes they are responsible for. The council is willing to reconsider the reimbursement should the Jergenson’s decide to further investigate the situation and present their findings to the council.

Larry Jerviss, the city administrator, also officially announced his retirement that will take effect January 31, 2015. The council plans to fill the position soon in order to have Jerviss be able to effectively train the new hire before his retirement. Until his retirement, Jerviss will have the new title of Financial Director and will only work 20 hours per week.

The council also approved 2014 wage increases for the majority of city employees. There will be a 3 percent wage increase for most of the full-time employees and a 6.5 percent wage increase for the parttime deputy clerk. The increase of 6.5 percent would bring the deputy clerk’s wage to a more standard wage for the given position.

The council also approved staff uniforms for city workers and officials. They will have a combination of hats, shirts, name badges, and possibly jackets that will display the Public Works logo.

A highlight of the night was when Connie Verse, the treasurer for Friends of the Nature Center, presented Mayor Edwards with a donation check to the City of Houston in the amount of $15,000. The council was thrilled to accept the generous donation.

The next city council meeting will be held on January 13, 2014 in the meeting room of Houston City Hall.

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