Council approves two rezones

Jacksboro City Council approved two zoning changes at its regular meeting Monday.

The first was to allow microblading at a business at 112 E. Belknap St. Microblading is a semi-permanent cosmetic procedure similar to tattooing that enhances eyebrows.

City Manager Mike Smith reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the conditional use permit required because of the location within the Central Business District and also because there is no zoning type that allows for such a business.

“I think it’s good. It’s real popular and it’s keeping business here instead of people going somewhere else and getting it,” said Council Member Melanie Belcher.

Smith said Planning and Zoning discussed regular tattooing and the members were opposed to it, but did not oppose microblading.

The second zoning change regards 204 S. Knox St. seeking a rezone of manufacturing for a company that constructs bleachers and other structures.

“They do about 25 to 35 percent of the pre-fab at this building and the remainder of the installation will be done on site,” Smith said. “They are actually currently looking for a larger building. They’re really wanting to relocate here and work in Jacksboro versus Graham.”

Smith said letters were sent to all of the surrounding property owners with no negative comments received.

“A couple of them even said they were actually in favor of it,” he said. “If you didn’t know they were there, you wouldn’t know they were there. It’s been relatively quiet.”

Planning and Zoning also recommended approval for the Knox Street rezoning.

“What I know of it, it sounds good and promotes more business,” said Council Member Gary Oliver.

The council discussed the City’s debt schedule. Smith reported that the City’s debt obligation for 2016 is $1.2 million. For 2017, it will be $1.06 million and will be $800,000 in 2018.

He said the decrease in debt payments for the next fiscal year will help make up for the $35,000 less the City anticipates capturing from property taxes due to a 4.3 percent decrease in property values. 

“You’re saving $150,000 on the debt and you’re losing $35,000 on the appraisal, so we’re down to about $115,000 additional if nothing changes; if you don’t change the tax rate,” Smith said.

But Jacksboro is also seeing a steady decline in its sales tax receipts.

Beginning at the May 23 council meeting, Smith said he hopes to begin discussing projected revenue and non-discretionary expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year.

“So you’re going to save a little money on your debt, you’re going to come in a little short on the appraised values and we’re going to come in way short I think on our sales tax,” he said. “My estimate is we’re going to bring in roughly the same amount next year as we’re bringing in this year which is actually going to be lower than what we projected. We’re not going to be that much better off next year, than we are this year, in my opinion.”

Smith said there are some things the horizon, such as the possible local option for the sale of alcohol election and the opening of Shopko, that could bring additional revenue for the City. 

“The EDC (Economic Development Corporation) is working on a couple of other businesses that could open up and bring in some additional sales tax next year as well,” he said. “I just don’t see next year being a banner year.”

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