Council awards bed tax funds
By Warren Slaughter
Special to the Texan
Six local entities will share funds from the City of Dalhart’s Occupancy Tax. The tax is commonly referred to as a “bed tax” because it is collected by motel operators from their customers and sent in to the Texas Comptroller. The comptroller then sends the cities their part of the tax. The money can only be spent on projects that bring in people from out of town. The six entities that will receive funding are LaRita Theatre, Dalhart Area Chamber of Commerce, XIT Museum, Dalhart Senior Citizens Center, XIT Rangers and XIT Rodeo and Reunion. The action was taken at the council’s meeting on Tuesday, November 10. Each entity had a representative speak to the council about how the funds would be spent and provided budgets for the expenditure of the funds.
Usually, the Mayor appoints a committee of three council members to study the proposals and make recommendations on how to divide the funds. However, since all of these entities are long-time recipients and no new entities were requesting funds, the council voted to award each entity the same amount, or percentage, as last year.
Several Dalhart firefighters were present at Tuesday’s meeting. The Dalhart Volunteer Fire Department would like the city to authorize establishing a Fire Corps, which would support the fire department by performing administrative and non-emergency support duties. There are grants from Homeland Security that could help pay for the Fire Corps. The council voted to authorize the establishment of a Fire Corps. Mayor Kevin Caddell praised the firefighters for the outstanding job they do in providing fire protection for the Dalhart and surrounding areas.
Council members held a public hearing and the second reading of Ordinance 2009-27, which would change the zoning on the property at 312 Osceola from R3 Residential to Special Use for the purpose of placing a manufactured home on the property for personal use. The public hearing was then closed, and the council voted to approve this ordinance.
The council also adopted Ordinance 2009-30, which deals with natural gas tariffs in the city.
Philpot Motor Company in Nederland, TX, was awarded the bid for two new patrol cars for the Dalhart Police Department. The bid price is $31,698 per vehicle.
The council also cast their votes for the Hartley County Appraisal District. Council members voted to split their votes between the two city representatives on the board, Dean Graham and Gene Rahll.