Richmond Tackles City Hall and Workshop Drainage | News

RICHMOND — The City of Richmond advanced discussions on strategic planning for City Hall and drainage system improvements at Tuesday’s special meeting.

Regarding a new city hall, City Manager Terri Vela said it was a goal in the city’s strategic plans to look at solutions within their facilities for a short-term fix.

Short-term solutions include reviewing staffing and space needs by July and preparing a summary report by August, Vela said.

The council does not expect to begin construction of a new city hall, but rather to make short-term improvements.

More detailed discussions are expected to be taken up at a workshop in September.

Staff will then plan to finalize a report for the council to review with potential locations and funding costs with a decision date tentatively set for January 23.

The council also plans to award drainage project contracts by July.

“We have received funding from a Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Grant and are tied to projects that were impacted by (Hurricane) Harvey, such as 2nd Street drainage improvements, Newton Dip and Rabbs Bayou improvements,” Vela said.

Council also discussed the proposed property tax rate of 63 cents per assessed value.

Vela added that the rate is “very preliminary.”

The actual tax rate will materialize once the certification process is completed on or around July 25, Vela said.

The proposed rate would be five cents lower than last year’s mark of 68 cents.

Budget workshops and public hearings are scheduled for later this summer and into the fall, Vela said.

“We will have a budget workshop on August 1 and 15 and a public hearing on the budget on September 8,” Vela said. “We should both adopt at the September 19 meeting.”

Council meets again Monday at 4:30 p.m.

At this meeting, officials will turn their attention to the possibility of negotiating engineering services for the expansion of the South Wastewater Treatment Plant, south of Highway 59 for the Municipal Utility District. (MUD) 207 (Berry Tract) and at the corner of Williams Way and Hwy 59.

Staff recommends that the commission authorize Vela to negotiate with KIT Engineering with an expected cost of $3 million.

The meeting was to take place at 600 Morton St.

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