Council votes in 8% property tax increase, EDC awards grants and sells property

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by Ben Posey

At the top of White Settlement citizen concerns was the property tax increase that the council members voted into place at Tuesday night’s meeting. One citizen asked for explanation during the public comment section on why the city had to raise taxes when property values were already up according to the Tarrant County Appraisal District. No explanation or comment was given by any council member after the question was posed. Continue reading “Council votes in 8% property tax increase, EDC awards grants and sells property”

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Sales tax numbers get big audit bump, business growth updated

John Bitter, owner of Frontier Veterinary Hospital, accepts the Business Incentive grant check from EDC Director Kyle Reeves (left) and Mayor Ronald A. White (right).
John Bitter, owner of Frontier Veterinary Hospital, accepts the Business Incentive grant check from EDC Director Kyle Reeves (left) and Mayor Ronald A. White (right).

by A.C. Hall

After thirteen straight months of sales tax revenues coming in below projections, the White Settlement Economic Development Corporation received good news at their May meeting.  Finance Director Phil Bray informed the EDC that sales tax revenues for April 2016 came in 136 percent above April 2015, hitting $153,441 instead of the $64,809 collected during April 2015.   Continue reading “Sales tax numbers get big audit bump, business growth updated”

Splash Dayz waterpark budget approved by councilmembers

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by A.C. Hall

At Tuesday evening’s White Settlement City Council meeting the budget for the Splash Dayz waterpark was unanimously approved.  With council members Elzie Clements and Mike Arnold out with approved absences, the remaining three members heard from city staff members who have been working diligently on preparing the budget for the waterpark.  Finance Director Phil Bray addressed the council about the proposed budget. Continue reading “Splash Dayz waterpark budget approved by councilmembers”

Splash Dayz coming to White Settlement

Preliminary Conceptual Site Plan for Veterans Park Hawaiian Falls Waterpark and Adventure Park
Splash Dayz is new name for the water park.

by A.C. Hall

At a joint meeting on Monday between the White Settlement Parks and Recreation Board and the White Settlement City Council, some big decisions were made about the future of the waterpark formerly known as Hawaiian Falls.  After considering many different names for the waterpark, the City decided to name it Splash Dayz.   Continue reading “Splash Dayz coming to White Settlement”

City begins repairs, cleanup at water park

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by A.C. Hall

As the City of White Settlement took possession of the Hawaiian Falls Waterpark last week they began assessments on the property.  Some of the council members who walked through the park took to social media to share their thoughts on the state of the property and their impressions painted a vivid picture.  Overgrown weeds, cracks in pools, piles of junk and garbage, issues with water slides, and improper painting are just some of the problems that these council members say they encountered at the property. Continue reading “City begins repairs, cleanup at water park”

Water park now in the hands of the City

A view of the water park shows slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, a zipline and other park attractions that will be taken over by the City.
A view of the water park shows slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, a zipline and other park attractions that will be taken over by the City.

by A.C. Hall

It’s been over a week since White Settlement Mayor Ronald A. White announced the City’s intention to terminate their lease agreement with Hawaiian Falls over unpaid lease payments.  In that time, both the City and Hawaiian Falls have sounded off on the issue. Continue reading “Water park now in the hands of the City”

Council announces intention to terminate Hawaiian Falls lease

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by A.C. Hall

At the April White Settlement Council meeting Mayor Ronald A. White made a major announcement regarding the Hawaiian Falls water park.
“There’s been some issues with Hawaiian Falls with payments,” Mayor White said. Continue reading “Council announces intention to terminate Hawaiian Falls lease”

Council considers new parade and new employee

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by A.C. Hall

Mayor Ronald A. White has spent time on social media in recent weeks talking to citizens about the possibility of more free city events and the ways to make them happen.  This comes as some citizens have reacted negatively over the City’s money saving decision to scale back some annual holiday events like Christmas while canceling others. The annual Easter egg hunt at Veterans Park is one such event that has been canceled as council works to save money.  At last week’s White Settlement City Council meeting, Mayor White opened a discussion with the council about this subject. Continue reading “Council considers new parade and new employee”

Councill hears sobering update on sales tax revenue, budget workshops coming soon

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by A.C. Hall

Last week the White Settlement City Council held a workshop on the mid-year budget.  At this workshop, City Manager Jim Ryan and Assistant City Manager Jeff James delivered some sobering updates and projections on the sales tax revenue the City is bringing in.  Sales tax revenue accounts for around twenty percent of the city’s overall revenue.  Ryan started the meeting by saying the steep declines in the oil and gas industry has struck the City severely.  The largest sales tax payer in the city is involved in the oil and gas industry and has seen their sales tax revenue drop as that industry continues to decline.  Overall, the city has seen sales tax revenue drop for ten months straight and it is consistently falling below projections.  Ryan said they tried to anticipate these trends when making the budget. Continue reading “Councill hears sobering update on sales tax revenue, budget workshops coming soon”

EDC hears report on recent retailer conference in Dallas

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by A.C. Hall

Last week, Economic Development Director Kyle Reeves gave a report on the recent Dallas retailer conference that the City of White Settlement attended.  Reeves spoke while a slide show played showing the large City of White Settlement booth at the event.  With a towering display, Reeves said the booth was visible from almost anywhere in the convention area.  He went on to say that the City had great attendance at the booth. Continue reading “EDC hears report on recent retailer conference in Dallas”

EDC considers grant applications

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by A.C. Hall

The White Settlement Economic Development Corporation held their monthly meeting last week to discuss and consider several business related issues.  Before moving into new business, EDC Director Kyle Reeves gave his monthly report.  Reeves told the EDC that there has been some interest in the EDC owned properties on Cherry Lane.  A meeting is set up with the potential buyer. Continue reading “EDC considers grant applications”

Budget approved by EDC for new year

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by A.C. Hall

In a brief meeting last week, the White Settlement Economic Development Corporation approved their budget for the upcoming fiscal year with a unanimous vote.  Economic Development Director Kyle Reeves gave a rundown of the balanced budget prior to the vote.  Reeves referenced the decline in sales tax revenues as well as mentioning some other budget challenges.  Health insurance costs are going up by twenty percent and Reeves stated that the city’s workers compensation insurance is also jumping up.   Continue reading “Budget approved by EDC for new year”

Appliance store moving to White Settlement Road

new business sign illustration design over white
new business sign illustration design over white

By A.C. Hall

One of the larger vacant buildings along White Settlement Road is getting a new tenant as Accent Appliance will soon be coming to the old Dollar General location.  Accent Appliance is currently located on Camp Bowie and is a company that sells and services household appliances.
White Settlement Economic Development Director Kyle Reeves stated that the City’s business friendly reputation helped draw Accent Appliance to White Settlement.  Reeves shared a few words with The Grizzly Detail about this latest business to move into the city.
“They will be conducting a few upgrades to the interior of the property.  Many of the upgrades may take some time, but I am excited and ready to see them open to the public,” Reeves said.

Council begin budget talks, Veterans Park in discussion

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Tax revenue down in the city.

by A.C. Hall

The long process of preparing the 2015 – 2016 budget is underway as council held the first of several meetings to discuss the budget on Tuesday evening.  The first thing pointed out in the proposed budget was a $345,000 decrease in expected sales tax revenue.  Several reasons were given for the sub par sales tax numbers, with the major reason said to be the city’s largest tax payer Weir SPM laying off some of its workforce.  Lower gas prices, the lack of Chesapeake revenue and new Chesapeake drilling permit fees, as well as the ongoing construction on Cherry Lane were also mentioned as reasons for lower revenues.   Continue reading “Council begin budget talks, Veterans Park in discussion”

Veterans Park discussions continue, tax revenue updated

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by A.C. Hall

The White Settlement Economic Development Board had a chance to sound off on the recently proposed Veterans Park changes at their meeting last week.  City staff continued to stress that this project remains in a very preliminary place.  The proposal is to relocate the softball complex from Veterans Park to Saddle Hills Park.  The roughly 17 acres of land opened up by this would then be used as commercial real estate. Continue reading “Veterans Park discussions continue, tax revenue updated”

EDC approves B.I.G. grants for two businesses; sales revenue still down

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by A.C. Hall

The June meeting of the White Settlement Economic Development Corporation saw the board receive several business updates as well as an update on falling sales tax revenues in the city.  EDC Director Kyle Reeves gave his monthly report, saying there’s been interest in the long vacant Graystone Apartments land that the EDC owns.
“We’ve had a couple of interested businesses,” Reeves said. Continue reading “EDC approves B.I.G. grants for two businesses; sales revenue still down”

Council gives update on Vegas convention trip

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by A.C. Hall

The White Settlement City Council and Economic Development Corporation held a joint meeting on Tuesday to get an update from staff and council members who attended the Recon retail convention in Las Vegas last week.  Mayor Ronald A. White stated he wanted to have this meeting now instead of at the next regular council meeting so the events of the trip were fresh in the minds of those who went.   Continue reading “Council gives update on Vegas convention trip”

Sales tax revenue continues to fall for White Settlement

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by A.C. Hall

Finance Director Phil Bray had more bad news for the White Settlement Economic Development Corporation at their latest meeting as he informed them that sales tax revenue continues to fall.  The EDC board relies on sales tax revenue to fund their annual budget, getting half of one percent of sales tax that is collected in the city.  After coming in 17 percent below estimates in March and 36 percent below estimates in April, Bray told the EDC that sales tax revenue came in 26 percent below estimates for May.   Continue reading “Sales tax revenue continues to fall for White Settlement”

Council votes to raise city water and sewer rates, Central Park loan forgiven

Mayor Ronald A. White made a presentation to the White Settlement Fire Department, thanking them for the work they did during all the winter weather the City has faced over the past month including rescuing stranded motorists and dealing with a gas leak.
Mayor Ronald A. White made a presentation to the White Settlement Fire Department, thanking them for the work they did during all the winter weather the City has faced over the past month including rescuing stranded motorists and dealing with a gas leak.

by A.C. Hall

Following up on a previously discussed issue, the White Settlement City Council voted last week to raise water and sewer rates.  This action was described as a necessary response to the nearly 14% rate increase that Fort Worth gave to White Settlement several months ago. Continue reading “Council votes to raise city water and sewer rates, Central Park loan forgiven”

Business update: Hawaiian Falls

 

Hawaiian Falls will re-open on Saturday, May 23.
Hawaiian Falls will re-open on Saturday, May 23.

by A.C. Hall

At the March White Settlement City Council meeting, a routine annual audit report included a major revelation about the first year struggles of Hawaiian Falls.  Their first lease payment of $500,000 was due to the City in October of 2014, but Hawaiian Falls only made a partial payment of $125,000 and has made no additional payments since.   Continue reading “Business update: Hawaiian Falls”

Council address fi nance department needs, former city manager

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by A.C. Hall

The White Settlement City Council held a work session on Thursday followed by a special meeting on Tuesday to address issues facing the city’s finance department.  This item began in January when discussions were held over the possible hiring of former City Manager Linda Ryan as an internal auditor for the city.  The council discussed that item at length in January, and ultimately Finance Director Phil Bray was directed by council to report back to them regarding his needs in the finance department.   Continue reading “Council address fi nance department needs, former city manager”

Business updates given at December EDC meeting

Patel’s wife was on hand to receive a $275,000 check from the EDC.
Patel’s wife was on hand to receive a $275,000 check from the EDC.

by A.C. Hall

In a brief December meeting, Economic Development Director Jim Ryan gave an update on some businesses in the area.  Ryan touched upon the new research and development center at Weir SPM and also mentioned that the old car wash on Cherry Lane across from the middle school is now the new home to Dan Brown tax service.  Also mentioned is a new three suite commercial building that is nearing completion on Jim Wright Freeway next to the Gene Thompson and associates office. Continue reading “Business updates given at December EDC meeting”

EDC approves hotel assistance, moves meeting times

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by A.C. Hall

The White Settlement Economic Development Corporation held their first meeting of 2014 last week.  One item of outstanding business was the approval of financial assistance for a Scottish Inn hotel that will be built near the gun store along West Freeway.  Continue reading “EDC approves hotel assistance, moves meeting times”