By Mike Henry
KBYG – Special to NewsWest 9
BIG SPRING - The Big Spring City Council passed on first reading an updated ordinance on the parking of vehicles, RV's, trailers and campers within the city limits on Tuesday. A specific point being addressed in the ordinance is the parking of vehicles on front lawns or similar unpaved surfaces. The updated version is supposedly less complex and has more "teeth" in regards to fines and enforcement. The former ordinance had a fine of just $5 per violation. The new ordinance has fines starting from $50--$100 for first offenses, although Mayor Larry McClellan stated the goal is not to collect revenue but to deter people from parking in places that make the city look unsightly. The ordinance passed 6-1.
Upon recommendation from city staff, the City Council gave unanimous approval for the creation of a Landfill and Sanitation "Enterprise Fund.” The landfill and sanitation budgets are currently handled through the city's General Fund and city officials say creating a special enterprise fund for the landfill and sanitation budget will create more accountability and transparency. The city already has enterprise funds for the airpark, EMS and utilities departments. Because the city and county has just recently come to an inter local agreement with Howard County on funding the ongoing landfill issue, the new fund will allow officials as well as citizens to more easily detect where revenues and costs are specifically going.
Also on Tuesday night, the City Council held an open session with Big Spring EDC Director Terry Wegman, who offered a brief update to council on EDC activity, specifically related to its rail projects.
Wegman said the recent rail spur construction at the airpark has been completed and is in service, with the primary user being Western Container. Wegman also updated the council on the proposed oil and gas rail park on EDC property east of Big Spring. The developing project is currently described in the tens of millions of dollars and most of the design and planning is going on between Big Spring EDC, Permian Energy Partners and Union Pacific. Wegman reported that the process is moving along very well and the current goal is to hopefully see actual activity on the project in about one year.