By Rodney Hays

Editor

At last week’s town council meeting, council members approved a small rate hike in gas bills for Prosper residents.

The Town of Prosper is part of 164-city committee called Atmos Cities Steering Committee (ACSC), which negotiated the rate change with and Atmos Energy Corporation, Mid-Tex Division, regarding the Company’s 2013 annual rate review mechanism filing in all cities exercising original jurisdiction.

Under state law, Texas cities have original jurisdiction over natural gas rates. The Town of

On July 15 this year, Atmos filed an RRM application with ACSC member cities to increase

rates $22.7 million system-wide. As a result of the negotiations, ACSC was able to reduce the Company’s requested $22.7 million RRM increase to $16.6 million. Approval of the Ordinance will result in the implementation of new rates that increase Atmos Mid-Tex’s revenues effective Nov. 1.

The impact on the average residential gas bill is estimated at $0.74, or

1.75%.

In other business:

n As part of the consent agenda, the council voted to forego all appeals on behalf of the Town Council to the Development Services Department, pursuant to Chapter 4, Section 1.5(C)(7) and 1.6(B)(7) of the Town’s Zoning Ordinance, regarding action taken by the Planning and Zoning Commission on any site plan or preliminary site plan. Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Ken Dugger asked a question regarding the alignment of the approach, driveway and median cut which would allow northbound traffic on Preston Road to enter the proposed development in question. n The council approved the 2013 Tax Roll. n The council approved a resolution updating the Town authorized signers list. Recent changes in Town Finance Department personnel necessitate an updating of the list of

authorized individuals to conduct electronic funds transfers (ACH and wire transfers) and

access the TexPool and TexSTAR local government investment pools.

Staff proposed that Finance Director Kent Austin and Accounting Manager Patricia Featherston be authorized for these functions. Staff also proposes that Town Manager Harlan Jefferson be authorized to conduct ACH and wire transfers. n The council heard an update from the Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) on the design and construction of the Doe Branch Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. Representatives of the water district conducted the briefing to Council utilizing slides and accompanying commentary. The presentation provided the latest information on progress on the Doe Branch water treatment plant project. n The council amended Section 1 and Section 7 of the Comprehensive Parks Ordinance of the Town of Prosper, Texas, establishing the Prosper Youth Sports Commission. Parks and Recreation Manager Will Mitchell presented this item. Following his presentation, Council asked some questions concerning the appointment of a Town representative to the Sports Commission as well as the disposition of field rental fees. After further discussion, Council unanimously approved the ordinance. n The council held a discussion on Park Development and Open Space Opportunities. Hulon Webb made this presentation to the council. Council member asked a number of questions regarding the amount and condition of usable space versus open space. Discussion centered on the wisdom of improving, applying turf and irrigating space for short term use, with the knowledge that the space would eventually be used for a different purpose in five years. Other questions arose regarding the long-term use of Prosper ISD-owned land.

Three speakers approached Council from the audience, two of whom asked Council to place equal consideration to downtown development of a municipal building, library or senior center. The third speaker inquired about the park development fund related to the Windsong Ranch development and also urged Council to pursue County grants for park development. After further discussion, Council asked staff to continue to refine the issue and present again at a later date. n The council heard an update on the design of Cockrell Park. Town Landscape Architect Paul Naughton presented this item and gave the Council a brief overview of the park’s amenities. Council accepted the update with minimal comment.

One speaker came forward to suggest the use of well water or gray water for the irrigation of park land, particularly on the west side of Town. Mayor Ray Smith called the meeting to order at 6 p.m. Council members present included Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Kenneth Dugger, Council members Michael Korbuly, Curry Vogelsang, Danny Wilson and Jason Dixon. Mayor Pro Tem Meigs Miller was not in attendance. The meeting was adjourned at 10 p.m.