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Hawkins City Council

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Hawkins City Council
Hotel/Motel tax up to 7%;
Water testing suggested

Meeting in regular session, Monday, July 20, the Hawkins City Council voted to increase the hotel/motel tax to seven percent from four percent and discussed the possibility of conducting special tests on the community's water. The council also agreed to have city employees cut and trim grass in some of the non-competition areas of the Hawkins Youth Sports Park.
In approving an increase in the hotel/motel tax, the rate in Hawkins will be the same as that in most neighboring cities. The Wood County Commissioners Court will also be considering the increase from four percent to seven for hospitality properties located in the unincorporated county. The Hotel/Motel tax is used by local governments to promote tourism and overnight stays.
The council discussed the possible testing of water from city wells following a report that water drawn from the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer contains contaminating compounds that could be health hazards. Councilman Dwayne Hickey said, "Apparently water drawn from the aquifer contains compounds that are found in other such aquifers containing coal." The report also identified contaminants that could be derived from plastics, such as piping and from herbicides. The report was prepared by the University of Texas Department of Geosciences. Currently state-required tests of drinking waters do not require testing for the contaminants identified in the UofT report. Mayor Sam Bradley will secure costs related to water testing and report back to the council. Numerous East Texas communities, including Holly Lake Ranch, private water companies and individual property owners draw their water from the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer.
Hawkins resident Aaron Brown asked about the landscaping care at the Hawkins Youth Sports Park. He said coaches and other volunteers do a good job of keeping the grass cut on the baseball and soccer fields, but bordering areas do not receive regular care. After discussing the matter with Larry Hassell of the city maintenance department, it was agreed that these areas would be added to the mowing schedule by city employees.
Linda Rosene of APET (Animal Preservation of East Texas) presented the council an updated report on the organization's activities and services. 3,200 animals have been spayed or neutered since 2006, while more than 250 pets have been inoculated in low cost clinics organized by the group. Rosene also reported progress in convincing Wood County officials to hire an animal control officer functioning through the Sheriff's department. Hawkins council has provided financial support to APET for several years.
Council member Jackie Rucker brought up a complaint she had received concerning construction materials and product displays on the covered sidewalk outside a local business. Chief Rod Voda will research city codes for such situations.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Hawkins City Council is scheduled for Monday, August 17 at 6 p.m. A special meeting of the council can be called with 72 hours public notice.


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