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.